As promised, I’m giving you my shortlist. This is a score of a lot of the schools, based on the criteria that I’ve chosen, as you can see in my post on law school rankings on your terms. Now, the chart below isn’t necessarily the order of my schools, so you’ll have to read below to find that out. 🙂
My first choice, as of right now, is Quinnipiac law. I’ve gotten a very substantial scholarship there, and although the school is new, it keeps consistently moving up in the US News and World report. While this isn’t everything when it comes to law schools, it’s a sad fact that in this day and age it does indeed matter for some firms. If Qunnipiac continues to move as it has the past few years, it’ll go from being in the top of the 3rd tier into the 2nd tier before I graduate.
Of course, ranking isn’t the only thing that’s made Quinnipiac my top choice as of right now. The job prospectives upon graduation seem to be right where I’d like them to be, placing me very well into positions that I want to be holding upon graduation. Mix this in with the fact that the school is only about twenty years old, so the facilities are quite nice and the fact that the cost of attendance is one of the lower ones for me with my scholarship and you’ve got a real contender. Also, I love the fact that the class size is only between 110-130 students, so it’ll be a tight knit group.
Of course, there’s always a downside to things, and the primary downside to Quinnipiac is that I haven’t seen the campus yet. I’ll be visiting in early March though, as I try to finalize my decision. Assuming they impress, it’ll probably be my pick.
My number two choice is one much closer to home, but that shares many of the same characteristics as Quinnipiac. It’s also a new law school, newer even then QU. It’s Elon Law, and another school that I’ve gotten a good bit of scholarship money to attend. It too has smaller class sizes, very comparable to QU. A few more downsides though, it’s VERY new, and thus, suffers a bit in both regional reputation and national reputation. I sincerely think these are both things Elon will overcome. They have a superb graduate program and undergraduate program, however, there law school is still finding it’s footing. My primary concerns are two-fold, but both include the location.
For starters, the law school is separate from the main university. Although I’m quite happy the law school is in a major city of North Carolina, and not in Burlington like the rest of the school, being removed from the larger university has it’s disadvantages, primarily, resources. It simply does not have the health clinic, the sporting events, the additional libraries, dining options, or other things that you come to expect as a student of a major university. Secondly, I remain slightly concerned about the sheer number of law schools in North Carolina. I merely worry about the number of jobs that are available in a state with seven law schools, although I do believe Elon will set itself apart and find its niche in the state, it’s merely a matter of time.
Fortunately, I have been to the school, and plan on going again in March as well to make my final decision as I compare it to QU and try to make that hard choice about where I’ll pay my seat deposit. I know in my original post on short-lists I said to try and have three. These two are definitely my tops. I’m still waiting for scholarship packages from a few schools, but this late in the game, it’ll have to be something huge to alter the path I’m starting down.