Which Law School Would You Go To?
(The Law School Advice Wiki has been updated!!)
And no, Paul Gowder, the correct answer is not "None at all! Run! Run for your life!"
And yes, Amber Taylor, Hypothetical Pre-Law (HPL) does have a "good" reason for going: doing law/policy work for which a J.D. would be useful/necessary(?), or I suppose a J.D./Masters in Public Policy/Administration.
And no, Christiana Dominguez, I can't convince this person not to go to law school.
So, HPL wants to do policy work. I don't know if this means for a think tank, state agency, or what. It's public policy, obviously, so lots of public/admin law will be involved. Educational policy is something possible, but I think HPL needs some time to further develop his/her policy-making interests, although they are along the lines of urban planning, and social/economic welfare. HPL wants to end up in a major metropolitan area where such skills might have a market, so probably Washington, D.C.
Emory Law school (rank 22) has offered HPL $100,000, which would make the tuition costs $15,000 for three years, but HPL has to live in Atlanta, GA.*
Should HPL go to Emory Law school (or any other similarly ranked law school, e.g. Fordham, Cardozo) that has more of a regional, rather than national reputation, simply because it's a bargain-priced J.D.? In theory, HPL can then go to a higher ranked MPP program and end up in the area/job s/he wants.
Or, should HPL go to a significantly higher ranked, more national law school that offers HPL no financial aid package, but offers HPL the "branding" of being a graduate of _____ school. Such a school would be UPenn (6), Georgetown (10), or Northwestern (12)--schools located in major metropolitan areas with jobs, by the way.
Obviously, I am leaning towards advising HPL to go for the bigger bang school, even if HPL gets no buck.
What would you advise HPL?
*I have no opinion on the greatness/badness of Hotlanta, GA, other than that I am a typical coastal elite. Do not get all regional on me and sing me odes of peaches and midnight trains to Georgia or tell me that it is on your mind. I already love peach jam and Dusty Springfield and Ray Charles.