THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Discuss comparisons of various school choices and the various metrics that inform them, including rankings, student life, location, etc.
Bro
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:11 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Bro » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:14 pm

Most importantly: how do you have 270 posts already UVA2B?

User avatar
UVA2B
Moderator
Posts: 3149
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:29 pm

And I’m not even in the top 5 here, if you’ll believe that. 😀

klick
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:29 am

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by klick » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:47 am

UVA2B wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:26 am

I'll get to all of your questions, but first just wanted to reiterate that anyone can offer their advice and opinion on the questions you ask, and in fact that's the entire point of this thread. My opinion is only one voice, and there are other people who can offer high quality advice to you as well. If you don't get what you're looking for here (unfortunately/fortunately I can't force anyone else to respond), you can bring your questions to your own thread or you can also bring the questions up with our resident admissions consultant and noted All-star Mike Spivey, linked in the OP.

Onto your actual questions:

1. You should definitely consider waiting a cycle if you're unhappy with your admissions results. Getting your applications in by end of January/beginning of February is on the late side, and you could've fallen victim to both a limited number of acceptances available and scholarship funds already spoken for by other, earlier applicants. Some people apply late and get the types of results they were looking for going into the cycle, but it's pretty easily established through mylsn that your options only improve if you apply earlier in the cycle. Considering you're already one year removed, there will be little to no harm in waiting one additional year to start law school (this is coming from someone who was nearly a decade removed from UG when I decided to go to law school, FWIW). Your GPA might not be great, but when you apply late, you're not being compared to all of the people who applied with similar numbers as much as you are being compared against the applicant pool that has already been considered and offered spots. Let's say a school admits 1000 people in a cycle, it's very possible 800, 900, or more have been admitted by this point, and all scholarship offers would be out, more or less, by this point. Even if your numbers don't change, you have an opportunity to make it into the earlier part of that initial wave of acceptances instead of fighting over the scraps of admissions that are left over for late contenders with strong numbers or a particular need for the incoming class the school seems short on (GPA, LSAT, URM, etc.). So it'll only benefit you to wait, even if admissions officers approach next cycle like it's going to be more competitive, which they might since applications in general have increased and may be likely to continue.

2. Transferring can be a good option after you've completed at least one semester of law school, but you shouldn't even contemplate it until you've gotten to a law school, performed well enough to transfer, and have evaluated the financial and professional ramifications of transferring. There are times it makes sense to transfer, but there are zero times it makes sense to think about transferring before you ever start law school. There is an entire discussion here to be had, but it only belongs with people who have actually gone through 1L and are in a position to transfer potentially. So I'll reserve the long answer to this question for if/when that becomes a realistic possibility.

3. Education, no, career prospects, potentially. It's no secret that law school education is almost entirely uniform within this tier of school. The professors will be impressive, will have a firm grasp on the material and their own unique way of teaching it, and the overall academic environment in terms of intelligence, work ethic, and drive to learn the material will be similar enough to be indistinguishable generally.

Career prospects can be different though, depending on what/where you want it. The T13's biggest leg up is in big firm hiring, where the T13 place nationally every year. The "T20," which can be better understood as the strongest regionals outside the T13 place more regionally, although they have some reach beyond their immediate region. So if you're looking to get work at a biglaw firm outside that school's immediate region, you should at least be wary that you may be out of luck if you don't place highly in your class (and in case this enters your mind: you really can't predict this, so please don't assume you'll be top of your class. You might be, but it's also equally/more likely you don't. This gets into the law school curve, which leaves a lot of uncertainty for anyone to predict how they'll perform).

Since we're addressing career prospects, who is this family friend you expect to clerk for following graduation? If you are certain you'll have this as an option, and they are in the federal judiciary, this could slightly change things. Coming out of federal clerkships, depending on the reach and influence of the judge, can be helpful with hiring in big firms generally. I have no idea how certain this opportunity is for you, but if you've been given assurances you can count on for clerking for them, regardless of law school performance, grades, etc., then that's something you can/should take into account. But you should make sure you have the ability to count on that no matter where you go or how you perform in law school.

4. I'm not sure I know what you mean by "political connections." If you mean literally politicians, the only influence they will likely have is as an impressive recommender, which may or may not affect admissions in the T13 or T20. While not completely common, it's not unheard of at all to have high level political influencers try to wield influence in admissions, but the admissions don't generally have to worry whether a Congressman from another state will affect them in any substantial way, so it's really just another impressive recommendation among impressive recommendations.

If, by political connections, you mean people who have influence at the law school you're considering, then it can make a difference. Influential alumni will/can reach out to the law school to notify them of your application and your connection to them, and that's something schools take notice of, both because they like furthering the alumni tradition and because they want to keep that influential alumni happy and giving to the school.

Depending on what type of political connection you're talking about will affect the rest of this discussion though.

I hope this helps with some of your questions, and I hope others choose to weigh in on your questions. Advice is always better when it comes from the community instead of just one poster. Good luck with the rest of your cycle, and I hope you choose to sit out to see the kinds of options you can have early in the cycle!
Thanks for the advice! I don't really think "connections" would play a huge role in my admissions decisions, but I figured maybe mentioning the clerkship opportunity might do something for a school trying to increase their placement, or something. Regardless, I am happy with the position I am in; I've decided to take this next LSAT and continue my cycle. Thanks for your advice!

I'll likely end up coming back for advice following my full cycle and test results :P

User avatar
ContigoMontoya
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:21 am

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by ContigoMontoya » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:17 pm

Quick decision ashram, open to all.

How much debt would you take on (total) to attend HLS over UVA on a Dillard? (Assume CoL paid for for both.) What's your max?

Goals: BigLaw and clerkship (to further BigLaw partner/litigation prospects). Indifferent between D.C. and NYC for practice location.

User avatar
UVA2B
Moderator
Posts: 3149
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:44 pm

ContigoMontoya wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:17 pm
Quick decision ashram, open to all.

How much debt would you take on (total) to attend HLS over UVA on a Dillard? (Assume CoL paid for for both.) What's your max?

Goals: BigLaw and clerkship (to further BigLaw partner/litigation prospects). Indifferent between D.C. and NYC for practice location.
Personally? Less than $50k total.

HLS will give a leg up in clerking, but the biglaw placement will be pretty similar. Considering <$50k difference is pretty rare, plus Dillards do have some institutional assistance in clerkships, etc., I’m guessing the Dillard will be a better value.

User avatar
Stranger
Posts: 2336
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:19 am

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Stranger » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:54 pm

So, I'm ready to post in this thread, I think. (And the cost of attendance numbers I've listed are debt at graduation, with a little rounding.)

Stats: 173/2.X (and X isn't particularly high), non-URM, 10+ years work experience in a professional environment (but nothing special)
Goals: I'm somewhat open on career paths and interests, but I suspect that if I went corporate, I would want to do tax, while public service criminal work is also appealing, and I would be happy to work in labor or environmental law.
Region: My preferred regions are NC/VA/DC, TX, or (less preferably) Atlanta, TN, or a decent sized Midwestern city in the MO/IL/WI/MI/MN cluster.
Ties: My ties are mostly in NC, with some government attorney friends from my non-profit work up in DC, a few ties in TX, and my wife's family in WI.

Offers in hand: Washington & Lee with a $105K scholarship, which would bring cost of attendance down to right about $100K. I wouldn't be taking on debt for the whole of that, as I have some land I'll be selling (I paid $25K for it, might be able to get more), and there's the possibility of some cost of living assistance from my parents (I'm not certain I want to deal with that at this phase of my life, but it's a possibility). I have another offer outside of my preferred regions with an $80K scholarship (I know, it's not divisible by three) at a similarly-ranked school, that I'm waiting to hear back on a reconsideration letter for. Cost of attendance with the current offer is about $130K, and the same possibilities about non-debt financing apply. The exact school isn't particularly important, but it places quite well in its state and not very well outside of it. The kicker is Wash U, who have promised me a decision on what sort of scholarship offer they'll make me in the next couple of weeks. I'd be willing to take the unnamed school with a large enough offer from them and absent a good one from Wash U, but I'm not treating this outcome as likely.

Waitlists: A veritable army of them, but most importantly, Northwestern and Vanderbilt. Northwestern seems to be close to a coinflip historically for admission off the waitlist with stats like mine, but there is no aid to go with that admission, and cost of attendance would be roughly $260K. Vanderbilt has historically offered scholarships to folks like me when admitted off the waitlist, though it's clearly a competitive cycle, and that might not be in play. As an exercise, let's say that the historical level of scholarship offer would leave a cost of attendance of around $160K. Others are Minnesota, Georgia, and Wake Forest.

Unanswered applications: Emory, Duke, and Virginia. I don't believe I will receive a straight-up offer of admission from any of these.

W&L is clearly the clubhouse leader, but Wash U is still a wild card. An equal offer of aid to what W&L has given me would create a cost of attendance of $130K for Wash U, matching the tuition would result in $115K, and their historical high scholarship offer for super splitters would result in $80K. My wife has a preference for me to land in the NC/VA/DC region for my career. I'm going ahead and going this year, because I'm not willing to risk PSLF disappearing as an option by waiting out a cycle. If I go somewhere with over $100K in debt, I'm going to push for the corporate route with PSLF from government work as a backup. With lower debt, I would be more willing to keep my options open, using my 1L and 2L summers to see what I prefer work-wise.

How large a scholarship would make you choose Wash U in this situation? What would Wash U or W&L have to offer to preclude accepting the hypothetical offer from Vanderbilt or Northwestern?

ETA: In an ideal world, I would be able to turn to my wife to handle cost of living. Unfortunately, she's wrapping up grad school herself, and we will be living separately, at least for 1L and likely 2L. And for those who traditionally say "X is not worth it for that much debt", keep in mind that once you're old enough to have to pay your own health insurance, COL debt alone starts at $60K, and only goes up from there in cities.

User avatar
UVA2B
Moderator
Posts: 3149
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:21 pm

Stranger wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:54 pm
So, I'm ready to post in this thread, I think. (And the cost of attendance numbers I've listed are debt at graduation, with a little rounding.)

Stats: 173/2.X (and X isn't particularly high), non-URM, 10+ years work experience in a professional environment (but nothing special)
Goals: I'm somewhat open on career paths and interests, but I suspect that if I went corporate, I would want to do tax, while public service criminal work is also appealing, and I would be happy to work in labor or environmental law.
Region: My preferred regions are NC/VA/DC, TX, or (less preferably) Atlanta, TN, or a decent sized Midwestern city in the MO/IL/WI/MI/MN cluster.
Ties: My ties are mostly in NC, with some government attorney friends from my non-profit work up in DC, a few ties in TX, and my wife's family in WI.

Offers in hand: Washington & Lee with a $105K scholarship, which would bring cost of attendance down to right about $100K. I wouldn't be taking on debt for the whole of that, as I have some land I'll be selling (I paid $25K for it, might be able to get more), and there's the possibility of some cost of living assistance from my parents (I'm not certain I want to deal with that at this phase of my life, but it's a possibility). I have another offer outside of my preferred regions with an $80K scholarship (I know, it's not divisible by three) at a similarly-ranked school, that I'm waiting to hear back on a reconsideration letter for. Cost of attendance with the current offer is about $130K, and the same possibilities about non-debt financing apply. The exact school isn't particularly important, but it places quite well in its state and not very well outside of it. The kicker is Wash U, who have promised me a decision on what sort of scholarship offer they'll make me in the next couple of weeks. I'd be willing to take the unnamed school with a large enough offer from them and absent a good one from Wash U, but I'm not treating this outcome as likely.

Waitlists: A veritable army of them, but most importantly, Northwestern and Vanderbilt. Northwestern seems to be close to a coinflip historically for admission off the waitlist with stats like mine, but there is no aid to go with that admission, and cost of attendance would be roughly $260K. Vanderbilt has historically offered scholarships to folks like me when admitted off the waitlist, though it's clearly a competitive cycle, and that might not be in play. As an exercise, let's say that the historical level of scholarship offer would leave a cost of attendance of around $160K. Others are Minnesota, Georgia, and Wake Forest.

Unanswered applications: Emory, Duke, and Virginia. I don't believe I will receive a straight-up offer of admission from any of these.

W&L is clearly the clubhouse leader, but Wash U is still a wild card. An equal offer of aid to what W&L has given me would create a cost of attendance of $130K for Wash U, matching the tuition would result in $115K, and their historical high scholarship offer for super splitters would result in $80K. My wife has a preference for me to land in the NC/VA/DC region for my career. I'm going ahead and going this year, because I'm not willing to risk PSLF disappearing as an option by waiting out a cycle. If I go somewhere with over $100K in debt, I'm going to push for the corporate route with PSLF from government work as a backup. With lower debt, I would be more willing to keep my options open, using my 1L and 2L summers to see what I prefer work-wise.

How large a scholarship would make you choose Wash U in this situation? What would Wash U or W&L have to offer to preclude accepting the hypothetical offer from Vanderbilt or Northwestern?

ETA: In an ideal world, I would be able to turn to my wife to handle cost of living. Unfortunately, she's wrapping up grad school herself, and we will be living separately, at least for 1L and likely 2L. And for those who traditionally say "X is not worth it for that much debt", keep in mind that once you're old enough to have to pay your own health insurance, COL debt alone starts at $60K, and only goes up from there in cities.
I'm not sure I need to provide any advice here because you seem to have thought out everything you should be considering. So instead I'll just walk through this decision like I was making it myself, and hopefully that additional data point will help you think more about this decision.

$100k debt is just about the maximum I would take at W&L, and considering you're a pretty severe splitter, I'm skeptical you could ever get much better than that at W&L. Combining that with you and your wife's geographic preference makes this your best option more than likely. But you should be prepared to not get the corporate law route unless you do very well in your 1L year, which could happen, but is obviously nothing close to a guarantee.

WUSTL probably shouldn't come into play here unless you decide you definitely want to pursue large private firm work and they bring out the big guns financially. I wouldn't pay more than $10-20k extra for WUSTL over W&L considering your geographic preference. So if WUSTL matches COA with W&L, it'll be up to you to decide which factors wins out: geographic placement or type of job. WUSTL could hypothetically place you in NC/VA/DC too, but W&L will just make that easier because most all of their grads place in that region, especially if you end up going the public sector route via ADA/PD type jobs. And W&L is close enough to make interning and networking realistic in NC since it's a manageable distance from the VA/NC border (obviously not commutable, but trips to NC are totally doable depending on where you focus your job search there). WUSTL should really only come into play if you're open to Chicago or NYC Biglaw, as those are much more likely outcomes than VA/NC/DC out of WUSTL (again, not impossible, just playing with likelihoods here).

I personally wouldn't pay sticker for Northwestern if you get off their waitlist, but if you go all-in on wanting biglaw, then you'll have to weigh the added probability of biglaw at NU vs. the extra cost compared to a school like WUSTL (assuming they give you the money necessary to make it a good choice to go). I would probably go WUSTL in that scenario, but I recognize this is the debt averse miserly old man in me talking who shudders at six figures of debt for the pleasure of working in biglaw.

One final thing on geographic placement: considering you're grouping it as NC/VA/DC, I'm working under the assumption that you're not just thinly veiling a desire to be exclusively in DC in a wider geographic region. DC is a tough legal market to crack because it's so heavily desired, so while W&L can put you there, it can also shut you out from DC if you don't do well enough or don't get lucky in your job search there. So make sure you mean it when you say you most want to end up in NC/VA/DC and you really mean all 3.

Here is the thing I think should resonate the most: talk everything through with your wife, and talk through it multiple times. Her wants need to be fully considered on top of your professional goals. If she really insists on ending up in NC/VA/DC, then that should really weigh heavily that W&L may be your best opportunity for that. It might mean you miss out on going into biglaw, but at least your marriage will be strongly intact because you're in you and your spouse's desired region long-term. Combine that with the debt situation, and it becomes an even more desirable choice.

I typically give advice with a slightly skewed tilt toward assuming the person making the choice is younger, inexperienced, and possibly lacking a bit of maturity, but I don't think that's an issue here with you. You've clearly thought this through, and I think you need to be comfortable that you'll be better positioned to make this choice than I am. In that way, all I can really do is act as your sounding board, which of course I'm more than happy to do.

If you have any follow-up questions or other things you want to bounce off of me, by all means reach out. I'll be around.

User avatar
Stranger
Posts: 2336
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:19 am

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Stranger » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:42 pm

Yes, I really do mean NC/VA/DC as a cluster. I grew up in Raleigh, my family comes from a county adjacent to Charlotte, and both my wife and I have a number of good friends across the two states and in metro DC.

One of the saving graces of St. Louis in this decision is that her field(s) of study leave her with ample opportunities for employment there. We've discussed that possibility extensively, enough to have jokes about what one of us would have to do if the other worked for particular companies.

I appreciate that you're not going to give me new data points to plug into calculations, but I considered this a more meditative option than throwing up a poll on the Choosing board. Mostly, the reminder of how important my wife's input is was the critical advice, which is part of the benefit of asking a fellow married older student. I'm glad to know that W&L isn't an impractical destination for my goals, though - just a bit tighter than comfortable, which matches my evaluation.

User avatar
Aristurtle
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:21 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Aristurtle » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:00 pm

UVA, really looking for your advice on this one. Any input would be greatly appreciated:

Stats: 173/3.95+; coming up on 3 years of WE; average softs/LOR's

Goals: Generic Big Law aspirations (Big Law or bust), preferably in Chicago (strong Chicago ties). Would like the opportunity to clerk, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if it never happened. Interested in Employment/Labor law, but not wed to anything. Not particularly debt averse, but I will be financing almost everything through loans (might get a *little* help from the rents).

Geographic preference during school: Non-urban college towns are cool, so that would be Mich/Cornell. I could also live in St. Louis/Chicago/Philly without a lot of adjustment. NYC would be a hard-sell lifestyle wise.

Current* Offers and estimated COA:
WUSTL - Full Ride + $15K stipend / COA: ~$25K
Cornell - $120K discount / COA: ~$165K - $170K
Michigan - $150K discount / COA: ~$105K - $110K
Penn - $126K discount / COA: $165K - $170K
Columbia - $98K discount (Butler) / COA: ~ $215K - $220K
Chicago - $60K discount / COA: ~ $240K

Currently riding the WL at NU. Silence from UVA, Yale & Stanford since September. Given my generic goals, I don't think I'd attend Y&S anyway. Fully expecting WL/Ding at UVA.

*Will try to negotiate at Chicago, but I am really interested in feedback regarding the point where Chicago actually becomes a feasible option. If Chicago can bring the COA down closer to ~$200K then I will start to seriously consider, but I don't think Chicago is worth much more than $20K compared to Penn (if that). I don't expect much bargaining power on any of the other offers, since they are already the top award outside of full-rides/named schollies.

Right now I am leaning toward Penn. Big Law & Fed Clerk rates put it right up there with Chicago/Columbia, and it's the cheapest option of the three.

User avatar
UVA2B
Moderator
Posts: 3149
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:14 pm

Aristurtle wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:00 pm
UVA, really looking for your advice on this one. Any input would be greatly appreciated:

Stats: 173/3.95+; coming up on 3 years of WE; average softs/LOR's

Goals: Generic Big Law aspirations (Big Law or bust), preferably in Chicago (strong Chicago ties). Would like the opportunity to clerk, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if it never happened. Interested in Employment/Labor law, but not wed to anything. Not particularly debt averse, but I will be financing almost everything through loans (might get a *little* help from the rents).

Geographic preference during school: Non-urban college towns are cool, so that would be Mich/Cornell. I could also live in St. Louis/Chicago/Philly without a lot of adjustment. NYC would be a hard-sell lifestyle wise.

Current* Offers and estimated COA:
WUSTL - Full Ride + $15K stipend / COA: ~$25K
Cornell - $120K discount / COA: ~$165K - $170K
Michigan - $150K discount / COA: ~$105K - $110K
Penn - $126K discount / COA: $165K - $170K
Columbia - $98K discount (Butler) / COA: ~ $215K - $220K
Chicago - $60K discount / COA: ~ $240K

Currently riding the WL at NU. Silence from UVA, Yale & Stanford since September. Given my generic goals, I don't think I'd attend Y&S anyway. Fully expecting WL/Ding at UVA.

*Will try to negotiate at Chicago, but I am really interested in feedback regarding the point where Chicago actually becomes a feasible option. If Chicago can bring the COA down closer to ~$200K then I will start to seriously consider, but I don't think Chicago is worth much more than $20K compared to Penn (if that). I don't expect much bargaining power on any of the other offers, since they are already the top award outside of full-rides/named schollies.

Right now I am leaning toward Penn. Big Law & Fed Clerk rates put it right up there with Chicago/Columbia, and it's the cheapest option of the three.
Hey!

I've been following your choosing thread, and I first want to cosign what MT Cicero and quiver (and really, the general consensus in your thread) have been telling you in that thread. They are giving you objectively great advice, so take it seriously.

I'll specifically address the question you're asking though, which is when Chicago enters the conversation against Penn and Michigan (and FWIW, I would pick Michigan in your particular situation, but reasonable people could pick Penn as well if you're less debt averse). Considering you want Chicago Biglaw, Chicago will get an advantage over Penn and Michigan, but just not $100k+ difference. If you can bring Chicago into shouting distance of Penn, like maybe $20-30k difference in COA, you can definitely reasonably make that choice. I still personally wouldn't, and that must be appreciated in any advice I give, but I wouldn't look down on you or think you've made a huge mistake there.

Something worth considering is actually counter to the conventional wisdom about picking Chicago if you want Chicago biglaw, which is you'll have markedly less competition at Penn during OCI than you would at Chicago for Chicago biglaw spots, because ostensibly a decent number of people will go to Chicago wanting Chicago biglaw. That could be a valuable chip in Penn's favor, assuming you're a median student at both of them.

I think the case for Michigan is along the general lines of minimizing cost when you have generic biglaw goals in the T13. Michigan can definitely get biglaw, and it does pretty well in Chicago, but you absolutely need to be comfortable with NYC biglaw, depending on how you perform during 1L year. I'm not saying you'll necessarily end up in NYC biglaw when it's all said and done, but when you're a 0L making this decision, and you want generic biglaw as a goal, NYC is just the most likely outcome for a median student at any of these schools. You can definitely make Chicago happen out of any of these schools depending on your grades and other important factors that come into play during OCI and 2L job hunts, but when you're planning as a 0L, you have to reconcile the reality of the most jobs being available in NYC. At that point, you have to decide what matters more: getting biglaw, or avoiding a particular market over other options in more desirable markets.

You currently have multiple options that can get you where you want to go, so it really comes down to personal decisions of debt aversion. If you really think Penn is worth the extra $60k of debt, then you can feel good in making that choice. I personally would go for Michigan, given these options, but I'm not the one taking on the debt here. The last thing I'll mention because you need to fully appreciate this: right now you're probably thinking about this debt in the abstract as a problem of tomorrow, even if you have concrete numbers and maybe even debt repayment plans in mind. It's nearly impossible to extrapolate how you'll feel paying an extra $500-600/month in loan repayments over a ten year period (or even more than that if you went with Chicago or Columbia), but based on my personal experiences in life and paying down debt, try to imagine it'll suck more than you maybe appreciate now. That doesn't mean you have to listen to us and go for less debt, because Penn does better in the types of jobs you want than Michigan does (accepting some amount of self-selection in this, simply because data doesn't exist to draw things like that out), but you have to personally decide how much that extra debt is actually worth to you. But to give you some semblance of comfort: if you took Penn in this case, I would understand why you did. I'd disagree with it on a personal level, but I'd absolutely accept it intellectually because it does make sense.

User avatar
Aristurtle
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:21 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Aristurtle » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:42 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:14 pm

I'll specifically address the question you're asking though, which is when Chicago enters the conversation against Penn and Michigan (and FWIW, I would pick Michigan in your particular situation, but reasonable people could pick Penn as well if you're less debt averse). Considering you want Chicago Biglaw, Chicago will get an advantage over Penn and Michigan, but just not $100k+ difference. If you can bring Chicago into shouting distance of Penn, like maybe $20-30k difference in COA, you can definitely reasonably make that choice. I still personally wouldn't, and that must be appreciated in any advice I give, but I wouldn't look down on you or think you've made a huge mistake there.

Something worth considering is actually counter to the conventional wisdom about picking Chicago if you want Chicago biglaw, which is you'll have markedly less competition at Penn during OCI than you would at Chicago for Chicago biglaw spots, because ostensibly a decent number of people will go to Chicago wanting Chicago biglaw. That could be a valuable chip in Penn's favor, assuming you're a median student at both of them.
Thank you for this (especially). I place quite a bit of premium on being in Chicago, even for just law school, for very personal reasons related to my father's health. Overall though, I think Chicago is going to have to come very close to Penn/Michigan for me to even consider. How much those personal reasons are worth is obviously something unique to my situation. I hadn't really considered the possibility that Penn's Chicago placement might be improved by the lack of competition. Truthfully though, I don't think it should factor into the decision much, if at all.

In regards to Michigan vs. Penn, I definitely need to go through the financials and understand the implications better. I think I have a good idea of what I am getting into debt wise (at least if I land Big Law), but I know I have no clue how quickly I'll want to leave Big Law. Obviously, Big Law is a short-term goal, so I'll need to really evaluate where I want me career to head long-term, and if that chosen path can service an additional $600-$750 a month in loans. In the event I want to start a family, buy a house, etc. that extra $$ is going to be real helpful.

You've been a big help here and on TLS, so this is really appreciated. I think I'll be starting on the right foot, in part, to your advice. So, thanks!

User avatar
UVA2B
Moderator
Posts: 3149
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:51 pm

Aristurtle wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:42 pm
UVA2B wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:14 pm

I'll specifically address the question you're asking though, which is when Chicago enters the conversation against Penn and Michigan (and FWIW, I would pick Michigan in your particular situation, but reasonable people could pick Penn as well if you're less debt averse). Considering you want Chicago Biglaw, Chicago will get an advantage over Penn and Michigan, but just not $100k+ difference. If you can bring Chicago into shouting distance of Penn, like maybe $20-30k difference in COA, you can definitely reasonably make that choice. I still personally wouldn't, and that must be appreciated in any advice I give, but I wouldn't look down on you or think you've made a huge mistake there.

Something worth considering is actually counter to the conventional wisdom about picking Chicago if you want Chicago biglaw, which is you'll have markedly less competition at Penn during OCI than you would at Chicago for Chicago biglaw spots, because ostensibly a decent number of people will go to Chicago wanting Chicago biglaw. That could be a valuable chip in Penn's favor, assuming you're a median student at both of them.
Thank you for this (especially). I place quite a bit of premium on being in Chicago, even for just law school, for very personal reasons related to my father's health. Overall though, I think Chicago is going to have to come very close to Penn/Michigan for me to even consider. How much those personal reasons are worth is obviously something unique to my situation. I hadn't really considered the possibility that Penn's Chicago placement might be improved by the lack of competition. Truthfully though, I don't think it should factor into the decision much, if at all.

In regards to Michigan vs. Penn, I definitely need to go through the financials and understand the implications better. I think I have a good idea of what I am getting into debt wise (at least if I land Big Law), but I know I have no clue how quickly I'll want to leave Big Law. Obviously, Big Law is a short-term goal, so I'll need to really evaluate where I want me career to head long-term, and if that chosen path can service an additional $600-$750 a month in loans. In the event I want to start a family, buy a house, etc. that extra $$ is going to be real helpful.

You've been a big help here and on TLS, so this is really appreciated. I think I'll be starting on the right foot, in part, to your advice. So, thanks!
Don't undersell the bolded above. That is fundamentally important to your decision. If being in Chicago is related to your personal health and happiness, then you need to change your decision making in ways that none of us can fully appreciate (empathetically we can, but personally we really can't). I still wouldn't recommend paying the current price at Chicago over Penn or Michigan (and FWIW, your father's health gives another chip in Michigan's favor to me because AA-Chicago travel will be much easier than Philly-Chicago travel), but if you are trying to stay in Chicago to help with your father's care or even want to be around if his health is deteriorating, then you frankly have to make some difficult and possibly financially ill-advised decisions. If I was making this decision based on caring for my ailing parents, I would be making very different decisions than I've made too. Beyond the normal cost-benefit analysis, this really, really matters. I won't advocate for you to take Chicago at the current price, but you have personal reasons that are perfectly reasonable to take Chicago (assuming NU doesn't come through) so you can be with your father. That's (at least to me) a potentially huge game changer for your personal decision. I won't read your father's health into this decision more than I should, but if it's a big part of your calculus, then you should definitely include that as a reason for making this choice. You don't have to share more either, because we can't personally help you in that type of decision. But if you want to take this to PM, I'm happy to talk about this more in-depth, because I know it's really hard to divorce the intellectual decision from the emotional and personal decision. Let me know if I can help in any way.

User avatar
Aristurtle
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:21 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Aristurtle » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:09 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:51 pm
Aristurtle wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:42 pm
UVA2B wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:14 pm

I'll specifically address the question you're asking though, which is when Chicago enters the conversation against Penn and Michigan (and FWIW, I would pick Michigan in your particular situation, but reasonable people could pick Penn as well if you're less debt averse). Considering you want Chicago Biglaw, Chicago will get an advantage over Penn and Michigan, but just not $100k+ difference. If you can bring Chicago into shouting distance of Penn, like maybe $20-30k difference in COA, you can definitely reasonably make that choice. I still personally wouldn't, and that must be appreciated in any advice I give, but I wouldn't look down on you or think you've made a huge mistake there.

Something worth considering is actually counter to the conventional wisdom about picking Chicago if you want Chicago biglaw, which is you'll have markedly less competition at Penn during OCI than you would at Chicago for Chicago biglaw spots, because ostensibly a decent number of people will go to Chicago wanting Chicago biglaw. That could be a valuable chip in Penn's favor, assuming you're a median student at both of them.
Thank you for this (especially). I place quite a bit of premium on being in Chicago, even for just law school, for very personal reasons related to my father's health. Overall though, I think Chicago is going to have to come very close to Penn/Michigan for me to even consider. How much those personal reasons are worth is obviously something unique to my situation. I hadn't really considered the possibility that Penn's Chicago placement might be improved by the lack of competition. Truthfully though, I don't think it should factor into the decision much, if at all.

In regards to Michigan vs. Penn, I definitely need to go through the financials and understand the implications better. I think I have a good idea of what I am getting into debt wise (at least if I land Big Law), but I know I have no clue how quickly I'll want to leave Big Law. Obviously, Big Law is a short-term goal, so I'll need to really evaluate where I want me career to head long-term, and if that chosen path can service an additional $600-$750 a month in loans. In the event I want to start a family, buy a house, etc. that extra $$ is going to be real helpful.

You've been a big help here and on TLS, so this is really appreciated. I think I'll be starting on the right foot, in part, to your advice. So, thanks!
Don't undersell the bolded above. That is fundamentally important to your decision. If being in Chicago is related to your personal health and happiness, then you need to change your decision making in ways that none of us can fully appreciate (empathetically we can, but personally we really can't). I still wouldn't recommend paying the current price at Chicago over Penn or Michigan (and FWIW, your father's health gives another chip in Michigan's favor to me because AA-Chicago travel will be much easier than Philly-Chicago travel), but if you are trying to stay in Chicago to help with your father's care or even want to be around if his health is deteriorating, then you frankly have to make some difficult and possibly financially ill-advised decisions. If I was making this decision based on caring for my ailing parents, I would be making very different decisions than I've made too. Beyond the normal cost-benefit analysis, this really, really matters. I won't advocate for you to take Chicago at the current price, but you have personal reasons that are perfectly reasonable to take Chicago (assuming NU doesn't come through) so you can be with your father. That's (at least to me) a potentially huge game changer for your personal decision. I won't read your father's health into this decision more than I should, but if it's a big part of your calculus, then you should definitely include that as a reason for making this choice. You don't have to share more either, because we can't personally help you in that type of decision. But if you want to take this to PM, I'm happy to talk about this more in-depth, because I know it's really hard to divorce the intellectual decision from the emotional and personal decision. Let me know if I can help in any way.
Thanks again. It's not urgent enough to be a primary motivating factor in my decision, but it certainly matters to some degree. I currently live out of state, but still within a couple of hours, and it has worked fine, so I do have confidence that Michigan would be sufficiently close to address any issues.My brother also lives in Milwaukee, so if anything catastrophic were to happen, he's still within helping-range.

I still have some faith that Chicago will be able to negotiate up a bit, so I guess I need to start writing that email and just let the chips fall where they may. I might pick your brain again when/if Chicago renegotiates. Thanks again, UVA2B

User avatar
Rowdy
Posts: 2935
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:14 am

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Rowdy » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:22 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:24 pm
What say you, LSL members? What decisions do YOU need help making?
Hey UVA, would it be okay if I PM'd you?

User avatar
UVA2B
Moderator
Posts: 3149
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:35 pm

Absolutely!

app
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:48 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by app » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:20 am

anyone know what this mean, how 83 first year were admitted and enrolled at hls without application last year?

http://hls.harvard.edu/content/uploads/ ... Report.pdf

User avatar
UVA2B
Moderator
Posts: 3149
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:57 am

app wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:20 am
anyone know what this mean, how 83 first year were admitted and enrolled at hls without application last year?

http://hls.harvard.edu/content/uploads/ ... Report.pdf
I’m not sure how expansive the program is, but this could be the junior deferral program at work. Otherwise, I’m not really sure, and your guess is as good as mine (might be worth asking Spivey about though).

Goatsincoats
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:12 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Goatsincoats » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:18 am

Thanks for doing this. This might be preemptive, since I’m still waiting on aid offers from two schools I’m considering and will certainly negotiate that Chicago offer, but I’m getting anxious about the decision.

Columbia (w/ Hamilton), COA: 62K
Harvard, COA unknown
NYU, COA unknown
UChicago (w/ 60K), COA: 253K

Will finance through 1) personal savings of 30-40K, 2) loans.

From the midwest, I don’t have a strong geographical preference, but will be coordinating careers / education with my partner, and for his work, Boston > Chicago > NYC.

I want to end up in academia. Yes, I know how unlikely this is. Law school is a much better option than trying to do this for my undergraduate area of study, and will actually leave me with other employment opportunities as well (humanities background :D)! Specifically, I have a niche legal interest that I really want to research and write about. Prior to attempting the academic market, I want to do a clerkship and then policy work with a nonprofit in my area of interest. I am open to pursuing an additional graduate degree at some point if that's what it takes to get into the academic market.

LSAT 175+ (on a retake), GPA 4.X.

I've been working for a few years now. Don't like my job and am not interested in related career paths.

Obviously with the offers I have now, take the Hamilton and run, but since UChicago and Harvard have better placement in academia and fed clerkships, how close would they have to get in aid to compete with Columbia on this?

NYU is stronger than Columbia in my area of interest. Assuming I can negotiate up to a comparable COA, is it worth foregoing the Hamilton for NYU? Specifically, there is a clinic that is perfect for me and a couple of professors I’d love to take classes with. I know that I can cross-register for a class at NYU if I’m at Columbia, but would not have that option for the clinic.

Thanks for your thoughts!

User avatar
northwood
Posts: 169
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:52 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by northwood » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:36 am

If you want academia, then I would think Columbia with a named scholarship would be better for both the financial costs and the lay prestige it automatically has.

User avatar
Nony
Posts: 4741
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:34 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Nony » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:43 am

UVA2B wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:57 am
app wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:20 am
anyone know what this mean, how 83 first year were admitted and enrolled at hls without application last year?

http://hls.harvard.edu/content/uploads/ ... Report.pdf
I’m not sure how expansive the program is, but this could be the junior deferral program at work. Otherwise, I’m not really sure, and your guess is as good as mine (might be worth asking Spivey about though).
Or just people who deferred? I'm presuming their application stats would be reflected in the year they applied, not the year they entered, and anecdotally at least, it seems like a fair number of HLS applicants defer for a year/Harvard is happy to grant deferrals.

User avatar
UVA2B
Moderator
Posts: 3149
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:28 am

Nony wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:43 am
UVA2B wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:57 am
app wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:20 am
anyone know what this mean, how 83 first year were admitted and enrolled at hls without application last year?

http://hls.harvard.edu/content/uploads/ ... Report.pdf
I’m not sure how expansive the program is, but this could be the junior deferral program at work. Otherwise, I’m not really sure, and your guess is as good as mine (might be worth asking Spivey about though).
Or just people who deferred? I'm presuming their application stats would be reflected in the year they applied, not the year they entered, and anecdotally at least, it seems like a fair number of HLS applicants defer for a year/Harvard is happy to grant deferrals.
Yeah, that’s definitely possible too.

User avatar
UVA2B
Moderator
Posts: 3149
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:35 am

Goatsincoats wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:18 am
Thanks for doing this. This might be preemptive, since I’m still waiting on aid offers from two schools I’m considering and will certainly negotiate that Chicago offer, but I’m getting anxious about the decision.

Columbia (w/ Hamilton), COA: 62K
Harvard, COA unknown
NYU, COA unknown
UChicago (w/ 60K), COA: 253K

Will finance through 1) personal savings of 30-40K, 2) loans.

From the midwest, I don’t have a strong geographical preference, but will be coordinating careers / education with my partner, and for his work, Boston > Chicago > NYC.

I want to end up in academia. Yes, I know how unlikely this is. Law school is a much better option than trying to do this for my undergraduate area of study, and will actually leave me with other employment opportunities as well (humanities background :D)! Specifically, I have a niche legal interest that I really want to research and write about. Prior to attempting the academic market, I want to do a clerkship and then policy work with a nonprofit in my area of interest. I am open to pursuing an additional graduate degree at some point if that's what it takes to get into the academic market.

LSAT 175+ (on a retake), GPA 4.X.

I've been working for a few years now. Don't like my job and am not interested in related career paths.

Obviously with the offers I have now, take the Hamilton and run, but since UChicago and Harvard have better placement in academia and fed clerkships, how close would they have to get in aid to compete with Columbia on this?

NYU is stronger than Columbia in my area of interest. Assuming I can negotiate up to a comparable COA, is it worth foregoing the Hamilton for NYU? Specifically, there is a clinic that is perfect for me and a couple of professors I’d love to take classes with. I know that I can cross-register for a class at NYU if I’m at Columbia, but would not have that option for the clinic.

Thanks for your thoughts!
What kind of need-based aid are you expecting at Harvard? Have you at least done initial estimates based on your financial situation (and probably your parents as well depending on how old you are)?

I think Columbia is the clear winner right now, and as long as you fully appreciate how difficult academia can be to get, and understand what goes into getting that kind of career (and if you don’t, I can speak some to that, but Nony is a much better resource on academia hiring as she was a former academic in a non-legal field), then that’s a flat-out fantastic outcome.

If you’re expecting max need-based aid from Harvard, you can certainly entertain that idea as well, as they do better in clerkships and academia generally. I just wouldn’t spend an extra $200k for the incremental increased likelihood of an otherwise unlikely (statistically speaking) outcome from either.

Goatsincoats
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:12 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Goatsincoats » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:47 am

UVA2B wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:35 am
What kind of need-based aid are you expecting at Harvard? Have you at least done initial estimates based on your financial situation (and probably your parents as well depending on how old you are)?

I think Columbia is the clear winner right now, and as long as you fully appreciate how difficult academia can be to get, and understand what goes into getting that kind of career (and if you don’t, I can speak some to that, but Nony is a much better resource on academia hiring as she was a former academic in a non-legal field), then that’s a flat-out fantastic outcome.

If you’re expecting max need-based aid from Harvard, you can certainly entertain that idea as well, as they do better in clerkships and academia generally. I just wouldn’t spend an extra $200k for the incremental increased likelihood of an otherwise unlikely (statistically speaking) outcome from either.
Probably not max at Harvard. After these convos and some chats IRL, I'm leaning towards Columbia at this point. Am still going to negotiate with Chicago and see what NYU comes back with.

app
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:48 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by app » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:30 pm

anyone know if there's school-specific data on how those who get a boost or had a hard time with lsat perform in law school grades in hys or t6?
(don't mean it to be a discussion on more controversial topics such as AA, if it's not the right thread then i'd move the q)

Teacher
Posts: 75
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:21 pm

Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Teacher » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:39 pm

(Also posted in Choosing a Law School thread)

Hey guys!

I'm still waiting to hear back from a few schools that I would be really interested in, but right now I'm between HLS, UChi, NYU, Duke, Northwestern, and UT (I currently live in Texas). Im 100% committed to doing PI after graduating. I was unbelievably lucky to receive a full ride to NYU, and when I visited for ASW, I was INCREDIBLY impressed with the PI program/ opportunities, the LRAP, and basically everything about NYU-- except that I hated NYC. I'm originally from Massachusetts (where my family still is) and have visited NYC a million times, but being there with the prospect of living there, I was miserable and basically cried every moment I was alone (#adulthood).

I don't have any of my scholarship/ financial aid info from anywhere else, so I know it's kind of hard to compare. But I just have this feeling that turning down a full ride at NYU when I'm committed to public interest is unbelievably short-sighted and dumb. But I'm also quite a few years out of college and have kind of an established life, and I don't really want to pick up everything and move somewhere I think I'll be miserable for three years. Thoughts?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest