Got into my dream school--having doubts

sc1293sc1293 Alum Member
edited February 2019 in Law School Admissions 134 karma

Hi all,

I turned to this community after hitting a hard plateau upon taking a rushed 2-month Blueprint course. I started off with 154 and could not get beyond early 160s. Realizing that I wasn't where I wanted to be, I delayed my LSAT and studied on this platform for 2 more months and took the November LSAT, ending up with a 168. Since then, I've somewhat unexpectedly gotten into incredible school including NYU, Berkeley, Michigan, Duke, Cornell, GULC, UCLA, and USC but I'm heavily leaning towards UCLA because: 1) I want to eventually settle and practice in SoCal 2) my boyfriend is skeptical of LDRs. By the way, I cannot recommend the 7Sage unlimited edit package enough, the editors helped me through the whole process from brainstorming to polishing the final draft. UCLA is an incredible law school, and was definitely my target, but I'm reluctant to let go of these incredible opportunities at T-14. Am I making a smart decision by foregoing T-14, and will this decision impact my marketability as a lawyer in the long-run? I'm desperately trying to be rational, but am being pulled in million directions. What would you guys do in my shoes?

T-14 or Regional?
  1. Law Schools135 votes
    1. NYU
      31.11%
    2. Berkeley
      19.26%
    3. UCLA
        2.22%
    4. USC (full ride)
      47.41%

Comments

  • jkjohnson1991jkjohnson1991 Alum Member
    760 karma

    Just on the hoof and without knowing your situation and the COA for the others, specifically Berkeley ...

    A full ride to USC jumped off the page and that would be hard for me to pass up. The others are all definitely great opportunities but considering you want to practice in SoCal, your SO is in SoCal and you have a full ride from USC, that is very tempting.

  • FixedDiceFixedDice Legacy Member
    edited February 2019 1804 karma

    I've somewhat unexpectedly gotten into incredible school including NYU, Berkeley, Michigan, Duke, Cornell, GULC, UCLA, and USC but I'm heavily leaning towards UCLA because: 1) I want to eventually settle and practice in SoCal 2) my boyfriend is skeptical of LDRs [...] Am I making a smart decision by foregoing T-14, and will this decision impact my marketability as a lawyer in the long-run?

    I'm not in law school yet (congratulations on your outstanding results, by the way), but my understanding is that one's marketability is quite high with a T13 degree. UCLA is a strong school too, but I believe its market is primarily limited to Southern California. If you choose UCLA and happen to move out of Southern California later, your marketability may decrease; if you do not, you would be competing with attorneys who received degrees from nationally recognized programs.

    That said (and forgive me for saying this), I'm not a believer in relationships where one party undertakes graduate education and the other does not (unless the latter already has a graduate degree or is married to the former) -- especially if the said coursework cumulates into a professional degree. I know two cases where an ongoing relationship affected a person's choice of graduate education. One involved a law school applicant, who got into a T6 and UCLA. (S)he opted for UCLA because (s)he didn't want to be separated from his or her significant other. They broke apart sometime during his or her legal education.

    The other case involved a pre-med student, who forwent his or her top choice medical school so (s)he could stay close to his or her significant other at the time. I thought this one was quite sweet (as I am personally acquainted with both), until I learned that the program the pre-med student chose was University of California, San Francisco. They broke apart too.

  • PrincessPrincess Alum Member
    821 karma

    Wow! Congratulations on getting accepted to those colleges. I know you didn't include Michigan in the votes, but even that is a great school to consider. I've heard from people it is the more "friendlier" than other T14. Of course I'm not sure if that is true or not, but that's just one thing I've heard. Also, the campus is so beautiful! I think you should go ahead and visit some of the schools. Don't just settle. As bad as this sounds, you don't want to be putting your dreams behind for your boyfriend. If something happens or it doesn't work out, you're always gonna feel that "WOW, I left NYU or Top 14 for this dude." Even if you don't want it to be in your head, the thought might creep in.

    Be 100% confident in the school you go to just for yourself. Long distance relationships work. In fact, they just show you how loyal and committed you are ot your partner. It can actually be helpful that you focus for X amount of time, and then meet with your boyfriend. It works more of as a reward system. Don't think that a LDR means breaking up.

    In the end, it's all about priorities and I just want to make sure that choosing law school is just your decision. Don't think about the other factors like LDR, but focus on your future. Where would you be happy? Are you going to succeed there? Do you want to go to Top 14?

    Also, if you don't mind me asking...what was your GPA? I'm only asking because NYU, Michigan, and few of the other schools are my dream schools as well. It'll just help get some perspective. Thank you and feel free to message me if you need to talk!

  • Lawster9Lawster9 Alum Member
    edited February 2019 393 karma

    I voted for USC. I'm not an expert by any means, but it seems to me that their employments stats are very good (85.6%), including placing about 35% percent of the class in BigLaw (501+, even more for 201+) (if that is something you want). So getting a full ride seems to be a pretty sweet deal. Plus, you get to hang with your BF. Best of luck and congrats on your great score!

    Edit: Here's the link to their page on LSTreports: https://www.lstreports.com/schools/usc/

  • BamboosproutBamboosprout Alum Member
    edited February 2019 1694 karma

    @Princess: "WOW, I left NYU or Top 14 for this dude." Even if you don't want it to be in your head, the thought might creep in.

    This is such good advice. Very insightful and logical. Our minds can work in weird and hidden ways.

    @FixedDice: I'm not a believer in relationships where one party undertakes graduate education and the other does not

    This is anecdotal, but very reasonable. The academic, social, and emotional pressure is a lot to handle. My relationship and most of my friends' who went into Law/Med with a relationship, broke off the relationship during the program. Sure, you might be the exception, but be prepared and know what you care about more between this relationship and your career.

    I believe you can get just about any job out of UCLA that you could get out of NYU if you have good enough grades, and work hard enough, but the reputation and respect you get out of a T6 school is a realistic difference. I felt it extensively during my time at UCLA, when two friends with similar or lower stats at Stanford would receive way greater preference in recruiting.

    Lastly, to answer your question, as a graduate of UCLA, I have to say that USC is very comparable in most ways to UCLA in its ability to teach and provide opportunities in SoCal. So considering a full ride and assuming UCLA can't give you anything after negotiations, I have to recommend USC over UCLA (I believe UCLA may be willing to offer you something though, if you ask). This gap is bridged mostly by it's strong, smaller, tighter alumni network. The difference gets bigger as the distance increases from LA though.

  • LSAT_WreckerLSAT_Wrecker Legacy Member
    edited February 2019 4850 karma

    (didn't vote)

    If you are dead-set on Cali, I would go with one of the California schools. Your personal goals and debt aversion should be the major factors into which school you take. However, I would definitely visit all of the schools (Cali and otherwise) if you can (most will provide some travel stipend) and see for yourself their culture.

    Echoing what others have said in the most gentle and supportive manner, please please please do not let your BF be the deciding factor in this decision. Go to the school that best supports your goals, regardless where that is. If your relationship is meant to survive, then you will both do what it takes to make it happen. FWIW, I lived on the opposite side of the planet (literally) from my wife for two years. It sucked, but we made it work.

    Good luck! You definitely have a suitcase full of first-world problems.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    As others have said, you obviously have some awesome choices in front of you. I think there's not quite enough info here for me to say what I would do in your shoes. At least to me, cost of attendance is a huge variable, as well as what your career goals are. Do you want a biglaw job? And do you know what your ballpark COA would be for each of these schools?

    In my personal opinion, if you got no scholarship to NYU, I would rarely vote for that one over a full tuition scholarship at UCLA or USC. That COA is just astronomical, even if you got biglaw it would take quite a while to pay off.

    If your main goal (boyfriend aside) is working in CA, I would really lean Berkeley. But again, cost of attendance and your specific career goals are also important to know here. Full tuition at USC is not something to ignore.

    I'm in agreement with a few of the others here when it comes to the relationship aspect, though. Your boyfriend is obviously very important to you, which is wonderful. But I think it is wise to also know for sure what your personal goals are if he wasn't a factor. I think it's smart to consider that if for any reason your relationship doesn't work out, are you going to have regrets about your choice? I would encourage you to think about what you really want for yourself.

  • Harvey_lHarvey_l Alum Member
    268 karma

    Empower your personal self, a healthy, understandable boyfriend would support your dreams!!

    Such as a person like myself. ;) (oof self promo, I'lll get to a t14 somehow right..? jk)

  • FixedDiceFixedDice Legacy Member
    1804 karma

    @Harvey_l said:
    Empower your personal self, a healthy, understandable boyfriend would support your dreams!!

    Such as a person like myself. ;) (oof self promo, I'lll get to a t14 somehow right..? jk)

    You've got the wrong website. Tinder is two blocks down.

  • PrincessPrincess Alum Member
    821 karma

    Hahaha I love it. Have to shoot your shot, right? 😂

    @Harvey_l said:
    Empower your personal self, a healthy, understandable boyfriend would support your dreams!!

    Such as a person like myself. ;) (oof self promo, I'lll get to a t14 somehow right..? jk)

    Haha you have to admit, it was a little funny 😂 😂

    @FixedDice said:

    @Harvey_l said:
    Empower your personal self, a healthy, understandable boyfriend would support your dreams!!

    Such as a person like myself. ;) (oof self promo, I'lll get to a t14 somehow right..? jk)

    You've got the wrong website. Tinder is two blocks down.

  • FixedDiceFixedDice Legacy Member
    1804 karma

    @Princess said:
    Haha you have to admit, it was a little funny 😂 😂

    Not really, no.

  • PrincessPrincess Alum Member
    821 karma

    Alright then, everyone has a different sense of humor. Can't be serious all the time 🤷‍♀️🙊

    @FixedDice said:

    @Princess said:
    Haha you have to admit, it was a little funny 😂 😂

    Not really, no.

  • 1000001910000019 Alum Member
    edited February 2019 3279 karma

    Depends what kind of job you want.

    PS
    Don't jump the gun. See if you can get some money out of the other schools.

  • sc1293sc1293 Alum Member
    edited February 2019 134 karma

    Thanks everyone so much for your kind words & thoughtful advices. You guys are the reason of voice that I needed. I know I need to prioritize my career ambitions before my young relationship, but it's easier said than done. One of the reasons I'm hesitant to venture to NYU is because I'm not exactly sure what kind of law I want to practice--leaning towards Big Law to pay off debt but still unsure. I'm going to wait on my scholarship packages to really start weighing my options since NYU sticker price is hefty even for its great reputation. I'm also a Berkeley BLOS finalist candidate, so we'll see how that goes. If there's anything I could do to help out (reading personal statements, why x's, application process for any of the schools that I mentioned) I'd be more than happy to help out--please feel free to message me.

  • BamboosproutBamboosprout Alum Member
    1694 karma

    @sc1293 said:
    I'm also a Berkeley BLOS final candidate, so we'll see how that goes. If there's anything I could do to help out (reading personal statements, why x's, application process for any of the schools that I mentioned) I'd be more than happy to help out--please feel free to message me.

    Oh wow, you are in the running for some great things. Keep your head up. None of your choices will be bad.

  • joezim425joezim425 Alum Member
    edited February 2019 90 karma

    If you get the BLOS, then you should absolutely do that and it’s not even close at that point in my opinion. You should still go and visit a your top choices, but a full ride at Berk is an insanely good deal. The difference between NYU and Berk is almost negligible in comparison to the difference between NYU and UCLA/USC. UCLA and USC are excellent schools, but Berk was #6 in the USNWR rankings less than a decade ago. Plus, just by being in Cali you’ll be able to network in that area better. So yeah, if you get the BLOS and anything less than maybe $100k from NYU, then it’s no contest.

  • LAWYEREDLAWYERED Alum Member
    335 karma

    A full-ride in the area that you plan to practice seems like the perfect choice (I voted for USC)
    I am sooooooo freakin jealoussssss

  • PeaceofmindPeaceofmind Alum Member
    446 karma

    @Princess said:
    Wow! Congratulations on getting accepted to those colleges. I know you didn't include Michigan in the votes, but even that is a great school to consider. I've heard from people it is the more "friendlier" than other T14. Of course I'm not sure if that is true or not, but that's just one thing I've heard. Also, the campus is so beautiful! I think you should go ahead and visit some of the schools. Don't just settle. As bad as this sounds, you don't want to be putting your dreams behind for your boyfriend. If something happens or it doesn't work out, you're always gonna feel that "WOW, I left NYU or Top 14 for this dude." Even if you don't want it to be in your head, the thought might creep in.

    Agree! It would definitely come up during arguments.

  • hawaiihihawaiihi Member
    973 karma

    OP, I will probably be going (short, 2 hours away) long-distance on the East Coast. We've done it before for one year, two different continents. A lot of people here are talking about how everyone they knew broke up doing distance and law school. Which is very possible! But it's also true that for many people, distance during law school is unavoidable and can even work. I found this thread on Reddit super heartening.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/lawschooladmissions/comments/ajj1up/people_who_currently_are_dating_someone_but_are/

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited February 2019 3652 karma

    Do you mind sharing your gpa? Waiting on responses from a couple of those schools. I have the same LSAT score and I wanted to use 7sage editors but they told me I didn’t have much of a chance at getting into the same schools you got into.

    If you’re debt averse and comfortable with staying in LA for your career, then take one of the LA schools.

  • sc1293sc1293 Alum Member
    edited February 2019 134 karma

    @hawaiihi said:
    OP, I will probably be going (short, 2 hours away) long-distance on the East Coast. We've done it before for one year, two different continents. A lot of people here are talking about how everyone they knew broke up doing distance and law school. Which is very possible! But it's also true that for many people, distance during law school is unavoidable and can even work. I found this thread on Reddit super heartening.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/lawschooladmissions/comments/ajj1up/people_who_currently_are_dating_someone_but_are/

    Hawaiihi, this is too funny. I follow r/lawschooladmissions religiously and saw that post too. You're very lucky to be with someone who is willing to make it work through the distance.

  • hawaiihihawaiihi Member
    973 karma

    @sc1293 said:

    @hawaiihi said:
    OP, I will probably be going (short, 2 hours away) long-distance on the East Coast. We've done it before for one year, two different continents. A lot of people here are talking about how everyone they knew broke up doing distance and law school. Which is very possible! But it's also true that for many people, distance during law school is unavoidable and can even work. I found this thread on Reddit super heartening.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/lawschooladmissions/comments/ajj1up/people_who_currently_are_dating_someone_but_are/

    Hawaiihi, this is too funny. I follow r/lawschooladmissions religiously and saw that post too. You're very luck to be with someone who is willing to make it work through the distance.

    Agreed. I think it really requires both people to be fully on the same page. But I also know it doesn't work for everyone. Good luck!

  • rn6zjrn6zj Alum Member
    14 karma

    Hi SC1293,

    Congrats on your LSAT performance and offers of admission from so many great schools. I voted for USC because it is hard to beat a full-ride offer. (If one of the T14 offers you anything close to a full-ride, all else equal, I would pick the T14 school.)

    Having said that, you should consider the following in making your decision:
    - location and campus community/atmosphere: is this a place you'd want to spend three years of your life? A visit would help.
    - academic and other offerings: is there a particular concentration that interests you? If so, which school has the strongest program? Are you looking to study abroad, etc?
    - how important is prestige to you? While UCLA and UCS are nearly identical, NYU, Michigan, and even Berkeley, are in a different league.

    Given that you want to practice in SoCal and have a SO who appears to be unable/unwanting to move, and given that median earnings are nearly the same at UCLA and UCS, I would pick UCS and take the full-ride. Nothing better than graduating with $0. in debt. (That's money that can go toward a mortgage.)

    Best of luck, and congrats again!

  • PrideViktorious170PrideViktorious170 Alum Member
    22 karma

    Congratulations!!! Please be the smart lawyer that you are and secure your bag for your legal education. Best of luck to you in whatever you decide! #UCS(Fullride)

  • sc1293sc1293 Alum Member
    134 karma

    Hi all! Again, thank you so much for your kinds words. I just heard back from Berkeley, and it looks like I'll be going to Berkeley with a full ride (BLOS). That seals the deal for me. My boyfriend and I will give it our best shot with long distance. Again, thank you so, so much for all your help and a HUGE thanks to 7sage.

  • eRetakereRetaker Member
    2038 karma

    Congrats on the great outcome!

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @sc1293 said:
    Hi all! Again, thank you so much for your kinds words. I just heard back from Berkeley, and it looks like I'll be going to Berkeley with a full ride (BLOS). That seals the deal for me. My boyfriend and I will give it our best shot with long distance. Again, thank you so, so much for all your help and a HUGE thanks to 7sage.

    OMG that is amazing. Literally the best possible outcome in this scenario. CONGRATULATIONS!

  • needcoffeeneedcoffee Legacy Member
    edited March 2019 29 karma

    Congratulations and good luck.

  • PrincessPrincess Alum Member
    821 karma

    Aw I'm so happy for you! You're gonna do amazing :smiley:

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