Monday, June 29, 2009

Open thread

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3 comments:

Memoirs of a (Pentecostal) Recessionista said...

Question for you: Should I accept a free ride at a T-3 school or pay full tuition at a T-1?

Butterflyfish said...

If I could only answer that question definitively and correctly every time I'm asked... alas, I cannot.

It depends a little on what you want out of law school, which must feel like a cop out answer because it is very likely you don't know what you want yet. But it is true.

Factors *I* would consider: how high in tier 1 is the T-1? If its in the 40s and/or not in the market you plan to work it, maybe there is not enough return on investment to give up the free ride. But if its nearer T-14, AND you plan a BigLaw or academic career, obviously those are much easier to pursue from a much higher ranked school.

Is the T-3 in the market in which you think want to work? Tend to have good regional reputations, but T-3 names don't carry as well across the country. You'd have to rank very highly in the class. Also: look at the strings attached to your scholarship, and don't assume higher LSAT than your peers = automatically keeping the scholarship. I know far too many people who lost the scholarship game that way and ended up paying for two years at T-3 which wasn't that much more than three years at T-1. (And your T-1 won't take you year two if you have a year of bad law grades under your belt.)

My life: I was in your shoes three years ago. I chose the T-3 full scholarship over the T-1 (and kept it). I am glad I made that choice, but I many factors personal to me that made that the right move at the time. (Kid, husband overseas, shorter commute, nicer environment). I cannot say that will be true for you.

Good luck and let us know.

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