Full ride to T20 vs UVA

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
alyoshanks

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:48 pm

Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby alyoshanks » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:12 pm

So I've stumbled across this forum today and would love to hear the groupthink on my choices...I don't really have a lot of people to talk do about my decision so I'm curious to hear what some others might think.

-The schools you are considering
I've been accepted to UVA/G'town and then have full rides (or scholarship amounts in the ~150k range) to Alabama/GWU/ND/Emory/WUSTL. I'm choosing between UVA/G'town and the Dean's Fellowship at WUSTL, and so my question really boils down to paying full price at UVA/G'town or getting all tuition covered in St Louis.

-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each.
UVA lists theirs at about 80k/yr. At WUSTL I would not be paying tuition, so the rest of the COA is in the 20-25k range.

-How you will be financing your COA
It's certainly not savings or family, so anything beyond scholarships would be loans.

-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
I'm from Atlanta but my family moved around enough that I have no significant ties to the south. I want to stay on the east coast, and my interests are mostly political or policy-oriented--so DC is an obvious potential location.

-Your general career goals
I'm open to practicing if that's what's needed to gain experience, but again, my interests go much more towards politics. Things like lobbying or legislative relations, especially for different policy causes I'm interested in. What you should take away from this answer is that I have no desire to go into biglaw and make bigmoney.

-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
168/3.9, Political Science at Georgia State

-How many times you have taken the LSAT
Just the once.

*Edits made because I hit submit instead of preview and left some fields blank.
Last edited by alyoshanks on Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
nealric

Moderator
Posts: 2857
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby nealric » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:21 pm

If your interests are "mostly policy oriented", I suggest you look for a job on the hill and forget about law school. If you are interested in practicing law, it will depend on what sort of law you want to practice. Some practice areas are difficult to get into without starting in biglaw, which would make going to the full--ride school problematic.

User avatar
Sprout

Silver
Posts: 773
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:46 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby Sprout » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:24 pm

I would go to wustl and take the Deans Scholarship... but think a lot about where you will want to practice and make a decision from there out of the full ride options

alyoshanks

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:48 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby alyoshanks » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:43 pm

nealric wrote:If your interests are "mostly policy oriented", I suggest you look for a job on the hill and forget about law school. If you are interested in practicing law, it will depend on what sort of law you want to practice. Some practice areas are difficult to get into without starting in biglaw, which would make going to the full--ride school problematic.


I think that I use that term (probably wrongly) to differentiate between myself, interested in PI and Government work, and my friends who are going into some sort of corporate law. I am very interested in a lot of different types of law (IP, currently paralegal for a trust and estate lawyer, international law to an extent, financial regulation, etc) and would be happy to start in those if that's what it takes to jumpstart a career. I'd just prefer that career not end with biglaw.

As far as working on the hill, that's very much something I'd thought about...I just have no connections to DC at all. In my mind, law school might help to fill in the gap that resulted from graduating from a mediocre program at an average school.

alyoshanks

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:48 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby alyoshanks » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:45 pm

Sprout wrote:I would go to wustl and take the Deans Scholarship... but think a lot about where you will want to practice and make a decision from there out of the full ride options


So it sounds like you would agree with the side of those top-20 schools still giving good long-term value compared to a UVA/Penn?

User avatar
nealric

Moderator
Posts: 2857
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby nealric » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:20 pm

alyoshanks wrote:
nealric wrote:If your interests are "mostly policy oriented", I suggest you look for a job on the hill and forget about law school. If you are interested in practicing law, it will depend on what sort of law you want to practice. Some practice areas are difficult to get into without starting in biglaw, which would make going to the full--ride school problematic.


I think that I use that term (probably wrongly) to differentiate between myself, interested in PI and Government work, and my friends who are going into some sort of corporate law. I am very interested in a lot of different types of law (IP, currently paralegal for a trust and estate lawyer, international law to an extent, financial regulation, etc) and would be happy to start in those if that's what it takes to jumpstart a career. I'd just prefer that career not end with biglaw.

As far as working on the hill, that's very much something I'd thought about...I just have no connections to DC at all. In my mind, law school might help to fill in the gap that resulted from graduating from a mediocre program at an average school.


I'd say the vast, vast, majority of hill staffers have no connections to DC. It's a revolving door, so there's always vacancies. Getting involved in a campaign tends to be helpful in building the necessary connections. Hill stuff isn't an academic meritocracy- it's a political game.

"PI and Government work" is very vague. The path to becoming a federal prosecutor is quite different from doing legal aid work. For the former, you would be well advised to go to UVA. The debt won't matter much due to loan forgiveness programs for government work. Legal aid work may point towards a lower-debt path, as loan forgiveness for charitable work tends to be much more hit-or-miss and such work is less demanding of prestigious credentials.

"Financial regulation" is a biglaw practice area unless you are working at the SEC, FINRA, or other government agency. Go to UVA if you are seriously interested in this.

It's a bit of an old saw around here, but "international law" isn't really a thing- at least not as a career path. Sure, many areas of law have international implications, and many areas of law involve parties of different nationalities, but there's not a unified practice area called "international law." The course labeled as such in law school tends to cover various international agreements and conventions that don't collectively form a coherent practice area for any substantial number of lawyers outside of academia. For what it's worth, I do quite a bit of what could be called "international law." I regularly give advice on international business operations, treaties, and the implications of foreign laws. I travel internationally for work several times a year. But I'm a tax lawyer and never even took the course called "international law" in school.

Finally, keep in mind that law school rankings are not linear. Schools like WUSTL may be only a couple spots down from schools in UVAs band, but career wise they can be a world a part. Obviously, grades can have an impact, and there's no guarantee either way- but the probabilities of a given outcome are vastly different.

User avatar
VirginiaFan

New
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:16 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby VirginiaFan » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:44 pm

Retake. 4 more points and you'll be going to UVA for free, or Harvard at sticker.

BigTex1980

New
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:59 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby BigTex1980 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:54 pm

no biglaw, no bigmoney: go for nodebt.

alyoshanks

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:48 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby alyoshanks » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:21 pm

First, thanks so much for the answers. I'll try to be more specific where I haven't been--I've done this whole law school application process on my own and I think there's probably a lot of terms that I don't use quite use in the right way.

nealric wrote:I'd say the vast, vast, majority of hill staffers have no connections to DC. It's a revolving door, so there's always vacancies. Getting involved in a campaign tends to be helpful in building the necessary connections. Hill stuff isn't an academic meritocracy- it's a political game.

Is law school not helpful for building those connections? The initial research I did (and advice of one family member in Alexandria) seemed to indicate that DC jobs all went to students with graduate degrees or other very strong connections. So my thought process was, if I'm going to need a graduate degree at least I really enjoy law and would be happy to be in any kind of career/job/position where I'm using that knowledge, even if specific connections don't pan out as I imagine.

nealric wrote:"PI and Government work" is very vague. The path to becoming a federal prosecutor is quite different from doing legal aid work. For the former, you would be well advised to go to UVA. The debt won't matter much due to loan forgiveness programs for government work. Legal aid work may point towards a lower-debt path, as loan forgiveness for charitable work tends to be much more hit-or-miss and such work is less demanding of prestigious credentials.

Right, I'll try to specify more here. My undergrad was essentially four years of hard policy research with two of those years spent working in state government. I really enjoyed working with Legislative Counsel in the state capitol, as well as lobbyists, think tanks/nonpartisan policy orgs/NGOs, etc. I saw that all of these quite frequently employed people with legal degrees, and working for one of these type of organizations is where I could most easily see myself.

nealric wrote:"Financial regulation" is a biglaw practice area unless you are working at the SEC, FINRA, or other government agency. Go to UVA if you are seriously interested in this.

Yup, I'm talking about SEC/FINRA/DOL other SROs or organizations who are trying to influence the policy of the SEC/DOL. I've worked quite a lot in the area of fiduciary policy and the changes of the DOL.

nealric wrote:It's a bit of an old saw around here, but "international law" isn't really a thing- at least not as a career path. Sure, many areas of law have international implications, and many areas of law involve parties of different nationalities, but there's not a unified practice area called "international law." The course labeled as such in law school tends to cover various international agreements and conventions that don't collectively form a coherent practice area for any substantial number of lawyers outside of academia. For what it's worth, I do quite a bit of what could be called "international law." I regularly give advice on international business operations, treaties, and the implications of foreign laws. I travel internationally for work several times a year. But I'm a tax lawyer and never even took the course called "international law" in school.

IntLaw is more of a stretch for me but I have many (non-american) friends who work for bodies like the European Parliament/Conseil de l'Europe, and I also worked in London during Brexit and saw the legal and policy interactions there. It's extremely interesting to me, but scratch this one for the purpose of shortening the number of possibilities haha.

nealric wrote:Finally, keep in mind that law school rankings are not linear. Schools like WUSTL may be only a couple spots down from schools in UVAs band, but career wise they can be a world a part. Obviously, grades can have an impact, and there's no guarantee either way- but the probabilities of a given outcome are vastly different.

I don't suppose you know anything specific about WUSTL, especially if I have no ties to STL and don't see myself staying in the midwest? Entirely understand if you don't and thanks for all the information you've given already!

alyoshanks

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:48 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby alyoshanks » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:26 pm

VirginiaFan wrote:Retake. 4 more points and you'll be going to UVA for free, or Harvard at sticker.

I'm generally very good at knowing where I've capped when it comes to testing, and I think I just about hit my max. I got lucky to even get the score I did with a ton of study--I did not do well on the LG section that turned out to be experimental. My 168 was actually higher than any score I ever got during study, by two points. Not to say you don't have a point, but I honestly believe I hit my cap.

BigTex1980 wrote:no biglaw, no bigmoney: go for nodebt.

You get points for simple mantras that can be easily followed haha. I talked to the Director of the Public Interest Institute at Bama and she more or less said the same thing, and it's been in the back of my mind for a while--as long as a school like WUSTL can still provide the opportunities I'm looking for, even if I have to work extremely hard.

User avatar
VirginiaFan

New
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:16 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby VirginiaFan » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:36 pm

alyoshanks wrote:
VirginiaFan wrote:Retake. 4 more points and you'll be going to UVA for free, or Harvard at sticker.

I'm generally very good at knowing where I've capped when it comes to testing, and I think I just about hit my max. I got lucky to even get the score I did with a ton of study--I did not do well on the LG section that turned out to be experimental. My 168 was actually higher than any score I ever got during study, by two points. Not to say you don't have a point, but I honestly believe I hit my cap.



Did you miss any Logic Games questions? If so, then you haven't capped.

User avatar
nealric

Moderator
Posts: 2857
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby nealric » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:17 am

alyoshanks wrote:First, thanks so much for the answers. I'll try to be more specific where I haven't been--I've done this whole law school application process on my own and I think there's probably a lot of terms that I don't use quite use in the right way.

nealric wrote:I'd say the vast, vast, majority of hill staffers have no connections to DC. It's a revolving door, so there's always vacancies. Getting involved in a campaign tends to be helpful in building the necessary connections. Hill stuff isn't an academic meritocracy- it's a political game.

Is law school not helpful for building those connections? The initial research I did (and advice of one family member in Alexandria) seemed to indicate that DC jobs all went to students with graduate degrees or other very strong connections. So my thought process was, if I'm going to need a graduate degree at least I really enjoy law and would be happy to be in any kind of career/job/position where I'm using that knowledge, even if specific connections don't pan out as I imagine.

nealric wrote:"PI and Government work" is very vague. The path to becoming a federal prosecutor is quite different from doing legal aid work. For the former, you would be well advised to go to UVA. The debt won't matter much due to loan forgiveness programs for government work. Legal aid work may point towards a lower-debt path, as loan forgiveness for charitable work tends to be much more hit-or-miss and such work is less demanding of prestigious credentials.

Right, I'll try to specify more here. My undergrad was essentially four years of hard policy research with two of those years spent working in state government. I really enjoyed working with Legislative Counsel in the state capitol, as well as lobbyists, think tanks/nonpartisan policy orgs/NGOs, etc. I saw that all of these quite frequently employed people with legal degrees, and working for one of these type of organizations is where I could most easily see myself.

nealric wrote:"Financial regulation" is a biglaw practice area unless you are working at the SEC, FINRA, or other government agency. Go to UVA if you are seriously interested in this.

Yup, I'm talking about SEC/FINRA/DOL other SROs or organizations who are trying to influence the policy of the SEC/DOL. I've worked quite a lot in the area of fiduciary policy and the changes of the DOL.



I don't think law school in and of itself will do anything in terms of building legislative connections. Law school will qualify you for certain jobs. Obviously, you will never be legislative counsel without a law degree. However, specific policy expertise will probably be better than a law degree if you are truly interested in policy. Helping someone get elected is probably the ultimate path to a good hill job, however.

If you really want to do serious policy work in finance (or really policy at all) with a law degree, it would be a great benefit to have the most prestigious academic pedigree possible. UVA is probably more of a floor. Far better if you can get your LSAT up a few more points and go to HYS. If you've only taken the LSAT once and are still missing logic game questions, the retake advice above is not bad advice.

The problem with WUSTL from a career perspective is that it doesn't have a great home market but doesn't carry all that well outside of its home market. I understand that a full-ride is quite attractive for someone who isn't planning on making a lot of money, but it's three years of your life wasted if it doesn't get you the career you want. I think it would be a much more attractive option if you were more interested in direct service public interest (legal aid, public defender, etc.) where the positions aren't quite so competitive.

MaxMcMann

New
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:58 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby MaxMcMann » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:05 am

alyoshanks wrote:First, thanks so much for the answers. I'll try to be more specific where I haven't been--I've done this whole law school application process on my own and I think there's probably a lot of terms that I don't use quite use in the right way.

nealric wrote:I'd say the vast, vast, majority of hill staffers have no connections to DC. It's a revolving door, so there's always vacancies. Getting involved in a campaign tends to be helpful in building the necessary connections. Hill stuff isn't an academic meritocracy- it's a political game.

Is law school not helpful for building those connections? The initial research I did (and advice of one family member in Alexandria) seemed to indicate that DC jobs all went to students with graduate degrees or other very strong connections. So my thought process was, if I'm going to need a graduate degree at least I really enjoy law and would be happy to be in any kind of career/job/position where I'm using that knowledge, even if specific connections don't pan out as I imagine.

nealric wrote:"PI and Government work" is very vague. The path to becoming a federal prosecutor is quite different from doing legal aid work. For the former, you would be well advised to go to UVA. The debt won't matter much due to loan forgiveness programs for government work. Legal aid work may point towards a lower-debt path, as loan forgiveness for charitable work tends to be much more hit-or-miss and such work is less demanding of prestigious credentials.

Right, I'll try to specify more here. My undergrad was essentially four years of hard policy research with two of those years spent working in state government. I really enjoyed working with Legislative Counsel in the state capitol, as well as lobbyists, think tanks/nonpartisan policy orgs/NGOs, etc. I saw that all of these quite frequently employed people with legal degrees, and working for one of these type of organizations is where I could most easily see myself.

nealric wrote:"Financial regulation" is a biglaw practice area unless you are working at the SEC, FINRA, or other government agency. Go to UVA if you are seriously interested in this.

Yup, I'm talking about SEC/FINRA/DOL other SROs or organizations who are trying to influence the policy of the SEC/DOL. I've worked quite a lot in the area of fiduciary policy and the changes of the DOL.

nealric wrote:It's a bit of an old saw around here, but "international law" isn't really a thing- at least not as a career path. Sure, many areas of law have international implications, and many areas of law involve parties of different nationalities, but there's not a unified practice area called "international law." The course labeled as such in law school tends to cover various international agreements and conventions that don't collectively form a coherent practice area for any substantial number of lawyers outside of academia. For what it's worth, I do quite a bit of what could be called "international law." I regularly give advice on international business operations, treaties, and the implications of foreign laws. I travel internationally for work several times a year. But I'm a tax lawyer and never even took the course called "international law" in school.

IntLaw is more of a stretch for me but I have many (non-american) friends who work for bodies like the European Parliament/Conseil de l'Europe, and I also worked in London during Brexit and saw the legal and policy interactions there. It's extremely interesting to me, but scratch this one for the purpose of shortening the number of possibilities haha.

nealric wrote:Finally, keep in mind that law school rankings are not linear. Schools like WUSTL may be only a couple spots down from schools in UVAs band, but career wise they can be a world a part. Obviously, grades can have an impact, and there's no guarantee either way- but the probabilities of a given outcome are vastly different.

I don't suppose you know anything specific about WUSTL, especially if I have no ties to STL and don't see myself staying in the midwest? Entirely understand if you don't and thanks for all the information you've given already!


FWIW I'm not a practicing lawyer so take my advice with a heap of salt.

Contrary to the "no debt is always better" view here, from what I can tell of friends/mentors who did well in government, a law degree is very, very useful in getting your foot in the door in a large number of capacities and in DC is often a prerequisite for being taken seriously. In that sense, I would imagine a degree from Georgetown or UVA would be leagues better than WUSTL.

If your long term interest is government, I imagine those schools would be worthwhile. If you, like most people in that tier of school, wind up going to biglaw, UVA would still place better than WUSTL but perhaps not by enough to justify the debt if you're confident in your abilities (which as per another popular TSL mantra, you should never be under any circumstances - for some reason).

McChicken

New
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:55 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby McChicken » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:22 am

MaxMcMann wrote:
alyoshanks wrote:First, thanks so much for the answers. I'll try to be more specific where I haven't been--I've done this whole law school application process on my own and I think there's probably a lot of terms that I don't use quite use in the right way.

nealric wrote:I'd say the vast, vast, majority of hill staffers have no connections to DC. It's a revolving door, so there's always vacancies. Getting involved in a campaign tends to be helpful in building the necessary connections. Hill stuff isn't an academic meritocracy- it's a political game.

Is law school not helpful for building those connections? The initial research I did (and advice of one family member in Alexandria) seemed to indicate that DC jobs all went to students with graduate degrees or other very strong connections. So my thought process was, if I'm going to need a graduate degree at least I really enjoy law and would be happy to be in any kind of career/job/position where I'm using that knowledge, even if specific connections don't pan out as I imagine.

nealric wrote:"PI and Government work" is very vague. The path to becoming a federal prosecutor is quite different from doing legal aid work. For the former, you would be well advised to go to UVA. The debt won't matter much due to loan forgiveness programs for government work. Legal aid work may point towards a lower-debt path, as loan forgiveness for charitable work tends to be much more hit-or-miss and such work is less demanding of prestigious credentials.

Right, I'll try to specify more here. My undergrad was essentially four years of hard policy research with two of those years spent working in state government. I really enjoyed working with Legislative Counsel in the state capitol, as well as lobbyists, think tanks/nonpartisan policy orgs/NGOs, etc. I saw that all of these quite frequently employed people with legal degrees, and working for one of these type of organizations is where I could most easily see myself.

nealric wrote:"Financial regulation" is a biglaw practice area unless you are working at the SEC, FINRA, or other government agency. Go to UVA if you are seriously interested in this.

Yup, I'm talking about SEC/FINRA/DOL other SROs or organizations who are trying to influence the policy of the SEC/DOL. I've worked quite a lot in the area of fiduciary policy and the changes of the DOL.

nealric wrote:It's a bit of an old saw around here, but "international law" isn't really a thing- at least not as a career path. Sure, many areas of law have international implications, and many areas of law involve parties of different nationalities, but there's not a unified practice area called "international law." The course labeled as such in law school tends to cover various international agreements and conventions that don't collectively form a coherent practice area for any substantial number of lawyers outside of academia. For what it's worth, I do quite a bit of what could be called "international law." I regularly give advice on international business operations, treaties, and the implications of foreign laws. I travel internationally for work several times a year. But I'm a tax lawyer and never even took the course called "international law" in school.

IntLaw is more of a stretch for me but I have many (non-american) friends who work for bodies like the European Parliament/Conseil de l'Europe, and I also worked in London during Brexit and saw the legal and policy interactions there. It's extremely interesting to me, but scratch this one for the purpose of shortening the number of possibilities haha.

nealric wrote:Finally, keep in mind that law school rankings are not linear. Schools like WUSTL may be only a couple spots down from schools in UVAs band, but career wise they can be a world a part. Obviously, grades can have an impact, and there's no guarantee either way- but the probabilities of a given outcome are vastly different.

I don't suppose you know anything specific about WUSTL, especially if I have no ties to STL and don't see myself staying in the midwest? Entirely understand if you don't and thanks for all the information you've given already!


FWIW I'm not a practicing lawyer so take my advice with a heap of salt.

Contrary to the "no debt is always better" view here, from what I can tell of friends/mentors who did well in government, a law degree is very, very useful in getting your foot in the door in a large number of capacities and in DC is often a prerequisite for being taken seriously. In that sense, I would imagine a degree from Georgetown or UVA would be leagues better than WUSTL.

If your long term interest is government, I imagine those schools would be worthwhile. If you, like most people in that tier of school, wind up going to biglaw, UVA would still place better than WUSTL but perhaps not by enough to justify the debt if you're confident in your abilities (which as per another popular TSL mantra, you should never be under any circumstances - for some reason).


Lol someone is about to destroy you.

alyoshanks

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:48 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby alyoshanks » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:30 am

nealric wrote:
alyoshanks wrote:First, thanks so much for the answers. I'll try to be more specific where I haven't been--I've done this whole law school application process on my own and I think there's probably a lot of terms that I don't use quite use in the right way.

nealric wrote:I'd say the vast, vast, majority of hill staffers have no connections to DC. It's a revolving door, so there's always vacancies. Getting involved in a campaign tends to be helpful in building the necessary connections. Hill stuff isn't an academic meritocracy- it's a political game.

Is law school not helpful for building those connections? The initial research I did (and advice of one family member in Alexandria) seemed to indicate that DC jobs all went to students with graduate degrees or other very strong connections. So my thought process was, if I'm going to need a graduate degree at least I really enjoy law and would be happy to be in any kind of career/job/position where I'm using that knowledge, even if specific connections don't pan out as I imagine.

nealric wrote:"PI and Government work" is very vague. The path to becoming a federal prosecutor is quite different from doing legal aid work. For the former, you would be well advised to go to UVA. The debt won't matter much due to loan forgiveness programs for government work. Legal aid work may point towards a lower-debt path, as loan forgiveness for charitable work tends to be much more hit-or-miss and such work is less demanding of prestigious credentials.

Right, I'll try to specify more here. My undergrad was essentially four years of hard policy research with two of those years spent working in state government. I really enjoyed working with Legislative Counsel in the state capitol, as well as lobbyists, think tanks/nonpartisan policy orgs/NGOs, etc. I saw that all of these quite frequently employed people with legal degrees, and working for one of these type of organizations is where I could most easily see myself.

nealric wrote:"Financial regulation" is a biglaw practice area unless you are working at the SEC, FINRA, or other government agency. Go to UVA if you are seriously interested in this.

Yup, I'm talking about SEC/FINRA/DOL other SROs or organizations who are trying to influence the policy of the SEC/DOL. I've worked quite a lot in the area of fiduciary policy and the changes of the DOL.



I don't think law school in and of itself will do anything in terms of building legislative connections. Law school will qualify you for certain jobs. Obviously, you will never be legislative counsel without a law degree. However, specific policy expertise will probably be better than a law degree if you are truly interested in policy. Helping someone get elected is probably the ultimate path to a good hill job, however.

If you really want to do serious policy work in finance (or really policy at all) with a law degree, it would be a great benefit to have the most prestigious academic pedigree possible. UVA is probably more of a floor. Far better if you can get your LSAT up a few more points and go to HYS. If you've only taken the LSAT once and are still missing logic game questions, the retake advice above is not bad advice.

The problem with WUSTL from a career perspective is that it doesn't have a great home market but doesn't carry all that well outside of its home market. I understand that a full-ride is quite attractive for someone who isn't planning on making a lot of money, but it's three years of your life wasted if it doesn't get you the career you want. I think it would be a much more attractive option if you were more interested in direct service public interest (legal aid, public defender, etc.) where the positions aren't quite so competitive.


Thanks for the advice! Really appreciate your lengthy answers and perspective.

Ravenclaw23

New
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:46 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby Ravenclaw23 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:36 pm

I think you need to hold off on law school until you figure out what you want to do post-JD.

To me, you're struggling to make this decision because you don't know what your end goal is. You've listed a bunch of very different jobs as options, some of which are JD-preferred, some JD-required and some elite-JD required. You really need to narrow it down.

Your LSAT score is good for several years - start taking some networking trips to DC (or other markets you're interested in) and meet people who have the jobs you mentioned. Ask them questions about their career path and find out whether or not they think a JD is worth it. Once you know what you want to do this decision will be relatively easy.

FWIW, I was in your exact spot four years ago. I took the full-ride & it was the best decision I ever made.

beinghuman

Moderator
Posts: 99
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:10 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby beinghuman » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:42 pm

I think "nealric" gave you great advice.
I would add that you can definitely get a Masters degree in a field of your interest and do well in government, plus, it would be much cheaper. Unless you think you'd want to do something that requires a JD, there's no need for you to get one especially that you do not seem to be interested in big law.
I think WUSTL (and lower ranked schools) would disappoint you in terms of career opportunities.
If you really want to get a JD with an eye on government later on, I'd say go to UVA and be open to working in big law for a few years to repay you debt, start networking, etc, then seek opportunities in government/politics.

User avatar
Ohiobumpkin

Silver
Posts: 501
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:50 am

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby Ohiobumpkin » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:54 pm

Ravenclaw23 wrote:I think you need to hold off on law school until you figure out what you want to do post-JD.

To me, you're struggling to make this decision because you don't know what your end goal is. You've listed a bunch of very different jobs as options, some of which are JD-preferred, some JD-required and some elite-JD required. You really need to narrow it down.

Your LSAT score is good for several years - start taking some networking trips to DC (or other markets you're interested in) and meet people who have the jobs you mentioned. Ask them questions about their career path and find out whether or not they think a JD is worth it. Once you know what you want to do this decision will be relatively easy.

FWIW, I was in your exact spot four years ago. I took the full-ride & it was the best decision I ever made.


+1. If you had to go to school, go zero debt.

HUalumni93

New
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 11:12 am

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby HUalumni93 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:15 pm

I vote UVA at sticker

You might have to suffer big law for a few years, but you'll come out. Lot better than WUSTL. and UVA has great connections to DC.

User avatar
oshberg28

Bronze
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:24 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby oshberg28 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:59 pm

HUalumni93 wrote:I vote UVA at sticker

You might have to suffer big law for a few years, but you'll come out. Lot better than WUSTL. and UVA has great connections to DC.


This is assuming big law in the first place, which isn't a guarantee. That's a significant risk, and it isn't one that I would personally feel comfortable taking with $200k in loans out there that could otherwise take well over 10 years to pay off.

justicedoesnotexpire

New
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:21 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby justicedoesnotexpire » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:19 pm

retake x1000, take a gap year. With a 3.9 and an LSAT above 170 you could get a near full ride to half of the T14. Otherwise, WUSTL. If you're gonna gamble, why not gamble on your own ability to get good grades rather than on your financial future? In other words, good grades at WUSTL will get you virtually anywhere UVA will get you so why not double down on that rather than on being 250k in debt?

Shaheen678

New
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:43 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby Shaheen678 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:02 pm

As someone who has worked in politics my whole life, I agree that you absolutely do not need to go to law school.

The only reason I hesitate in saying its a terrible idea, is the fact that you won't have to take out loans.

The best way to get a job on the Hill or policy is to start working on political campaigns. If you work for the right type of Campaign, you will have a good shot of following your boss to DC.

You absolutely do not need a JD to get into policy work and lobbying. Those 3 years would be better spent working at a non-profit in DC or on a political campaign.

However, if you're still set on law school I would say you should take the full ride on GW.

Most policy jobs don't care that much where you went to law school. If you're in DC you will get all the advantages you need.

GW also has a very strong alumni network on the Hill. Big Fed jobs like DOJ are probably not doable, but you could find a job working on the Hill or at a lesser known agency like DOL if you put in the work.

It's better to be debt free out of GW then to come out with massive debt at Georgetown, if you don't want to do Big Law.

I don't think going to WUTSL or any of the other schools make any sense if you want to do policy.

Best outcome for you is to be in DC with no debt.

Shaheen678

New
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:43 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby Shaheen678 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:06 pm

Also the people who are telling you to take UVA at sticker or to retake are giving you horrible advice.

Would only make sense if you wanted Big Law.

Since you don't, it won't matter that you went to a T-14 if you're not in DC for 3 years.

Bla Bla Bla Blah

Bronze
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:01 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby Bla Bla Bla Blah » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:11 pm

UVa easily places students in all sorts of Fed Agencies in DC, and I definitely know people who ended up in policy when we finished. Lots of these more policy driven jobs likely have PILA grant funding nowadays too. Wasn't hard to get in touch with high level policy advocates through the school either. Not a traditional route, but definitely doable.

For instance, David Sciarra of the Educational Law Center, who is on the forefront of educational policy activism, was almost boosting his organization to interested students through his seminar. The same can be said of the course I took on Healthcare Policy and being able to rub shoulders with the president of UVa Hospital. Authored an Access to Justice handbook on a UN treaty with a policy driven firm in DC during the school year. There were plenty of opportunities to work with policy big wigs at UVa, and it would have been easy to talk to seminar instructors about working with their orgs since they were promoting that to those of us who did well in their courses. I didn't get the impression that it would have been too difficult to end up in policy from UVa Law.

Shaheen678

New
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:43 pm

Re: Full ride to T20 vs UVA

Postby Shaheen678 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:43 am

Bla Bla Bla Blah wrote:UVa easily places students in all sorts of Fed Agencies in DC, and I definitely know people who ended up in policy when we finished. Lots of these more policy driven jobs likely have PILA grant funding nowadays too. Wasn't hard to get in touch with high level policy advocates through the school either. Not a traditional route, but definitely doable.

For instance, David Sciarra of the Educational Law Center, who is on the forefront of educational policy activism, was almost boosting his organization to interested students through his seminar. The same can be said of the course I took on Healthcare Policy and being able to rub shoulders with the president of UVa Hospital. Authored an Access to Justice handbook on a UN treaty with a policy driven firm in DC during the school year. There were plenty of opportunities to work with policy big wigs at UVa, and it would have been easy to talk to seminar instructors about working with their orgs since they were promoting that to those of us who did well in their courses. I didn't get the impression that it would have been too difficult to end up in policy from UVa Law.


UVA would be fine if OP got money.

Paying sticker is a terrible idea in general, and worse if you don't want to go into Big Law.



Return to “Choosing a Law School�

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests