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Law School Question

  • Props, we actually just recently toured the school for the second time. Everything was on the table, talk of other visits, talk of other scholarship offers, nothing was sacred. My daughter kind of looked at it like OU's last chance to shine. And I must say, as much as it pains me to say this, we were less than impressed. I am beginning to think they feel that she, as an instate student, was a virtual lock up for them. I can tell you from a recruitment standpoint, OU is really behind. Maybe they just don't want her that badly. I can name four schools on her list, all higher rated than OU, who have been constantly sending general information, scholarship information, letters from previous graduates, etc. during this process. OU has basically sat on their hands and they do not respond unless they are called. After this last visit, she is waiting to see if they get any more serious about scholarship offers. Something.

    I hope they do, because they are fading fast and she may be headed out of state. All in all, it has been an interesting experience.

  • Some schools have more money available for scholarships, grants, etc. I remember going through the process about a decade ago. My wife and I were both seniors at Cornell at the time and looking for a law school to attend. We applied to a bunch of schools and were lucky enough to have many good options, but the thing that surprised me was how different the financial aid offers were from seemingly comparable schools. For example, Michigan (where we eventually went) offered us both very large grants, and Duke offered us pretty substantial scholarships as well (I think Northwestern also made a good offer to me but was too incompetent to even get a financial aid award letter to my wife; Northwestern also lost my application, so I had to send it to them again). Michigan and Duke actually offered us as much or more than less highly regarded schools like Washington U. in St. Louis (pretty large scholarships), Univ. of North Carolina (I don't recall being much if anything), USC (pretty large scholarships), and George Washington (pretty large scholarships). Georgetown offered some but not nearly as much, and Cornell actually offered us very little in grants/scholarships (by contrast to the undergrad, which had given us both great financial aid packages). Some schools, like Michigan, constantly sent us info, had people calling to talk about the schools, etc., while other schools seemed to expend relatively little on such efforts.

    The bottom line is that it might just be the case that OU does not have that much money to spend on scholarships, so your daughter should not necessarily assume that OU does not want her. It is not unusual for private schools to have more money to offer than state schools, but the tradeoff is that the state schools (for in-state students, at least) have a much lower sticker price. I'm guessing that even if OU offered no scholarships to your daughter, the total cost of attending OU would still be half or less of the cost of attending Notre Dame. Whether attending Notre Dame is worth the extra money depends greatly on what your daughter wants to do, but at any rate, I would suggest that she not let her mind be swayed by the emotion of feeling more or less wanted by certain schools.

    This post was edited by SoonerBeau 3 years ago

  • There is one other substantial factor that I would suggest your daughter consider in making a decision. Where would she be happiest? Three of my best years were spent in law school. In fact, my wife and I enjoyed law school even more than college. We had a terrific time and made many life-long friends. Not all law schools offer the same experience. Some attract primarily older students with families who are there only to get an education. Others attract students who are looking to be part of a fun community - almost an extension of undergrad but with smarter and slighly more mature students. Some schools are highly competitive/cut throat. Others are very collegial.

    My wife and I could have received a good education and had good job opportunities at many schools, but we probably would not have had nearly as memorable and enjoyable an experience had we gone somewhere else. Our days were filled with exciting discussions, football and hockey games, road trips, hanging out with friends around campus or at nearby bars/coffee shops/restaurants, law school parties and social events, etc., etc. I promise you that not everyone has that type of experience and it has everything to do with the school, its students, and its environment. The best way for your daughter to get a feel for which school is the best fit for her is to pay them a visit, hang out with the students, and see what their experience is like.

  • props

    sooneraia said... (original post)

    Props, we actually just recently toured the school for the second time. Everything was on the table, talk of other visits, talk of other scholarship offers, nothing was sacred. My daughter kind of looked at it like OU's last chance to shine. And I must say, as much as it pains me to say this, we were less than impressed. I am beginning to think they feel that she, as an instate student, was a virtual lock up for them. I can tell you from a recruitment standpoint, OU is really behind. Maybe they just don't want her that badly. I can name four schools on her list, all higher rated than OU, who have been constantly sending general information, scholarship information, letters from previous graduates, etc. during this process. OU has basically sat on their hands and they do not respond unless they are called. After this last visit, she is waiting to see if they get any more serious about scholarship offers. Something.

    I hope they do, because they are fading fast and she may be headed out of state. All in all, it has been an interesting experience.

    really sad to hear that OU made little effort--but am unsurprised. i really question some things about OU law's administration. OU really lags behind other schools when it comes to scholarships/recruiting and career placement--two very critical things. so while I think your daughter can have a ton of opportunities coming from OU, none of it will be attributable to the administration at the law school. (the subpar administration is also the reason that i don't plan to ever donate a dime to the law school).

    it sure helps to be wanted. OU made 10% of the effort that other schools made when i was choosing. but they at least ponied up for the comfort scholarship. and i hear the law school just got a massive donation, the largest in law school history. so they should have money. i don't think money is an excuse. moreover, when i was there, they were handing out about 15 comfort scholarships per class. what they need to do is hand out 5 full-rides every year instead. it's ridiculous that no one at OU gets a full ride from the law school (unless the scholarship awards have changed).

    maybe with the new dean things will get better.

    This post was edited by props 3 years ago

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  • Eye opening, and much appreciated information props. I guess OU feels like they are the best option to many candidates, so no real push for recruitment is needed.

  • Well, we took a trip to Notre Dame, very impressive campus. Really has a different "feel" than OU, much more "academic". A pretty large campus, but only 8,500 students, so there is not a constant flood of kids headed every direction. The new law school is top notch, I think OU has them beat with their "mock" court room, but everything else probably leans to ND. Spent a whole day going thru meetings, discussion groups, they went into financing, career placement, etc. Attended a law school sponsored alumni meet/greet, met several alumni and a couple of the law alumni board members from Chicago. They really put on a great dog and pony show. I just wish my daughter would have had a chance to attend OU's accepted student day, maybe they (OU) would have had something similar (At this point thought, I kind of doubt it). We shall see what happens this week. If OU does not reach out to her in the next few days, it will be over.

  • Notre Dame is very good law school, and I'm sure your daughter will recieve a first rate education and have a positive experience there. You are right that the feel is quite different from OU. If she likes the Notre Dame/South Bend feel, that certainly counts for something.

  • Going to ND will only help if she is wanting to stay in the Mid West. Sure people will see ND on her Law Degree but she wont have an advantage over someone who does just as well or better at OU or UT, which, both schools have respected Law Schools. My wife just had this conversation with one of her friends who went to Harvard Law and now wishes she hadn't because she paid 3 times what we did and it didn't make a difference when they compared each others positions.

    What Matters is How well you do.....period.

    back ground on my wife was accepted to OU and UT Law. She went to OU because I was extended at Tinker. She graduated in 01' Phi Beta Kappa and ..... etc. She is now a Senior VP and Gen Counsel for a Large Defense contractor. She was hired by a Large Dallas firm with offices in US and overseas. She was an Attorney for CAT then was hired by her current company (which was a former client while here in Dallas).

    PM me if you have ANY questions. I Mean IT!

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