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Law School Choice: LSU or Tulane?

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Below is a law school admissions question by a student, Jacque, and some advice by PowerScore CEO Dave Killoran.

Jacque: "Hey, I’m listening to your podcast right now and I’m in this situation too. I live in Louisiana now and would like to practice here. I got accepted to #88 LSU with a small scholarship with my June LSAT score. However, I did a retake in January and #54 Tulane just admitted me with a $37500 a year scholarship. I’m hoping LSU will up my scholarship to full soon. I’m not set on BigLaw, but I’m worried going to LSU will completely shut me out of the New Orleans area and any large firm. The only outcome I’m absolutely hoping to avoid is working at a small rural law firm coming out of law school. What do you think? Thanks!"

Dave Killoran: "Hi Jacque,

It's a tough one! LSU is of course far cheaper than Tulane on straight costs, but you are right that biglaw becomes unlikely (4.9% biglaw placement for LSU).

You've probably seen this too: https://www.lstreports.com/schools/lsu/jobs/. It shows that about 29% of LSU grads end up at firms with 10 or fewer attorneys, so chances are significant that you might end up at a small firm (Tulane is 13.7%).

On straight employment vs cost, LSU is hard to beat, but when you factor in the type of jobs (which you should!), it gets to be very close. If you do reasonably well at LSU, you'll be fine as far as avoiding that rural job, so I'd probably lean that way if they give you more $$, but you have to look in the mirror here and make an unflinching self-assessment of what you want and what it is worth to you!

Thanks and please let us know what you do!"