Law School

SaintsFan11

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Tulane, LSU or Loyola?

I've gotten into all three.

I would have ruled Tulane out based on cost, but they gave me $25,000 a year scholarship which puts the cost on par with LSU. Loyola requires a FAFSA before they give any financial package, so I don't know what they will offer yet.

I'm kind of leaning towards Tulane right now, but the fact that I want to practice in Lafayette makes LSU the more practical choice.

To the lawyers and people who have gone to law school: what is your advice (besides don't go to law school/don't be a lawyer)?
 

Waymer

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Well, I'm no lawyer...but if you are going strictly on rankings and name recognition then Tulane still ranks above those (unless you mean a different Loyola). LSU and Loyola do not even rank in the Top 100 law schools. Now, that being said I would make the decision you are most comfortable with, and the school you feel most comfortable with. Quality of education is important of course, but what you put into a school is also what you can get out. A smart person will succeed after school regardless.
 
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Naturally, I'd be inclined to say LSU because I hate Tulane with a passion, but if they're offering you that big of a scholarship, you should take it.

However, LSU has the highest success rate on the bar exam...something to think about.
 

JimEverett

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Unless you are going to a top 10 or top 15 school the rankings really do not matter.

If you are sure you want to practice in Louisiana forever then LSU might be a better choice simply because you will be around more people in law school who will end up staying in Louisiana.
Though Tulane does have a lot of graduates in Louisiana, partly because it is a relatively large law school.
If you are thinking you may want a job out-of-state at some point than Tulane is probably a better choice.
Loyola is not a bad choice either if you want to stay in state, particularly if you want to practice in the metro New Orleans area where it has a good reputation.

I went to Tulane and I loved it. And even more so now that I hear horror stories about law school from other lawyers. Based on anecdotal evidence I would say it is one of the friendliest schools out there.
 
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wbbigtymer

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All I have to say is that I'd love to be in the OP's position about a year from now. That is, having to choose among the top three law schools in the state with scholarship offers.
 
OP
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All I have to say is that I'd love to be in the OP's position about a year from now. That is, having to choose among the top three law schools in the state with scholarship offers.
I only have one scholarship offer, although I'd imagine Loyola will offer something. LSU probably won't, but they have a very reasonable rate.

Before Katrina I wouldn't have gotten the scholarship I did. The number of people applying to Tulane has dropped each year since Katrina, and as of last year was around half of what it was. Loyola had its largest class last year, but those are people who accepted their offer rather than total applicants.

As for what JE said:

I do want to remain in Louisiana, and really couldn't see myself practicing out of Lafayette except maybe New Orleans. I really love New Orleans, but there are some drawbacks to trying to establish yourself there. It seems to me to be a very insidious place, and who you know is much more important than what you know.

As far as I'm concerned, the fact that Tulane is in New Orleans is a major draw for me since I don't plan on working there but would really like to live in the city. On the other hand, from a career perspective, it seems like LSU is the better place to build connections with people who will be working in Louisiana. This is especially true for Lafayette, where the overwhelming majority of the people go to LSU, and more probably go to Loyola than Tulane.

I guess the main question I have is: How important is it to go to law school with people who are going to be working in the same city as you? Are the friendships and connections built in law school crucial, or does that work itself out after you get a job?
 

JimEverett

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Wow - Tulane reall has decreased their enrollment.
That is good news for the school - it had too many students.

You have time to visit the schools, and that is more important than talk about connections and other stuff IMO. All that stuff really does work itself out. My advice is don;t worry about it too much. Visit the schools, pick the one you like the most and stop thinking about it. You really can't go wrong with any of the 3.
 
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I really love New Orleans, but there are some drawbacks to trying to establish yourself there. It seems to me to be a very insidious place, and who you know is much more important than what you know.
You think so? I don't. If you bust your butt and make law review and/or moot court, you'll be sitting pretty making almost $100k as soon as you graduate.
 
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Wow - Tulane reall has decreased their enrollment.
That is good news for the school - it had too many students.

You have time to visit the schools, and that is more important than talk about connections and other stuff IMO. All that stuff really does work itself out. My advice is don;t worry about it too much. Visit the schools, pick the one you like the most and stop thinking about it. You really can't go wrong with any of the 3.
Enrollment isn't down, just the number of applicants. It also doesn't look like the quality of the incoming classes have dropped if you look at 25-75% GPA and LSAT.

It does mean that there is less competition for scholarships and such, and that they have to entice students to come. It's a buyers market right now, which really helped me because, as I previously said, I wouldn't have been in line for the offer I got before Katrina.
 
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I know and respect people who have gone through Loyola and Tulane. Family ties are more through Loyola since my dad and one of my brothers went through their law school. Neither of them had any complaints.

TPS
 

JimEverett

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Enrollment isn't down, just the number of applicants. It also doesn't look like the quality of the incoming classes have dropped if you look at 25-75% GPA and LSAT.

It does mean that there is less competition for scholarships and such, and that they have to entice students to come. It's a buyers market right now, which really helped me because, as I previously said, I wouldn't have been in line for the offer I got before Katrina.
Enrollment looks down. USNews says enrollment is 769. When I was there it was over 1,000.
 

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All I have to say is that I'd love to be in the OP's position about a year from now. That is, having to choose among the top three law schools in the state with scholarship offers.

Aren't they the only three law schools in the state? I think Southern might have one, too.
 

St. Widge

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It really depends on what you are looking for. If you want to stay in the Lafayette area, LSU is probably the right choice. It no longer has the high failure rate where they fail 1/3 of the class to cut the dead weight. They have also modernized the facilities and spend more money on classes and teachers. It's a great law school and you can't beat the social scene. I had a blast at LSU law. It will also give you the best foundation in Louisiana law. However, if you want to leave the state, an LSU degree won't do much for you. And, if you don't make Law Review it will be difficult to get a job in a New Orleans law firm unless you went to Jesuit. Many of the firms are run buy Tulane grads and/or Jesuit grads. Both have a tendency to hire what they know and that means a Tulane or Jesuit grad. The "Jesuit Mafia" is not a myth. Which isn't to say you can't get a job in New Orleans with an LSU degree. If you're law review, you can pretty much pick your firm.

If you want to go out of state then Tulane is the best option. They have an actual common law program, something LSU doesn't have (at least they didn't as of a few years ago). Tulane also has a name and connections nationally that will open some doors and get you interviews that an LSU degree will not get you.

As for Loyola, I don't really know much about them. As of a few years ago, they really ranked third among the three. I'm not sure if that has changed. What I do know is that Loyola has a great "skills" program. LSU has always been better at teaching "the law" and how to "think like a lawyer", but Loyola was always better at actually teaching you how to practice law. Tulane is more or less a good mix of the two.

It was an easy decision for me. I had a brother and a few friends who went to LSU, the cost of Tulane and Loyola were prohibitive and I needed the fear of getting cut in the first year to motivate me to work hard. Now, LSU's cost more and they don't cut as many people so those factors have evened out a bit.

In the end, you can't go wrong with LSU as long as you want to stay in the state. In fact, in places like Lafayette, I think the LSU degree would be more valuable. LSU grads tend to run the firms in that area.

Oh, and one last thing, don't go to law school.:)
 
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