Penn Law is a stellar school and it’s not uncommon to hear students say that they don’t want to apply because the Penn Law brand has such a negative reputation. But the truth is, while there are many misconceptions about Penn Law, most of those myths are simply not true. Penn law symplicity is no more a myth than the value of being a member of Penn Law.
We’ve written about these myths before, but we’re going to focus on five common myths about Penn Law schools in this post. These are the most common myths out there, and most likely candidates for being myths because they have no basis in fact. There are other reasons students might choose to attend another school, but none of them have anything to do with “Penn law is just a place so bad that you’d rather go to school somewhere else.” If you believe any of these myths, then you should feel confident that your decision will be based solely on the merits of the law school itself.
5 Common Myths About Penn Law Schools :
1. Penn Law is too expensive for someone to attend in the first place.
The average cost of attending Penn Law is $57,250 (including tuition, books and fees), and average debt for graduating students is $157,000. Compared to other law schools in America such as Harvard or Stanford Law School, the cost of attendance at Penn Law is on par with other leading schools.
The truth is that you shouldn’t compare Penn Law’s cost of attendance to other schools’ cost of attendance but rather you should compare it to your own expected costs. If you expect to be able to afford law school without financial aid, then you can probably afford Penn Law. However, if you aren’t planning on being able to attend without financial aid, then you might have a harder time affording Penn Law’s cost of attendance.
2. “Penn Law is just a place so bad that you’d rather go to school somewhere else.”
Penn Law has a reputation for being the best law school in the country and it’s not out of the question that this reputation is deserved. There are people who would gladly leave their current schools and transfer to Penn Law, but if this is your situation then it doesn’t mean that Penn Law is so bad for everyone.
There are a few reasons someone might choose to attend another school besides the reputation of that school. Perhaps you need to be close to home, so you will attend a law school nearby. Perhaps your spouse has a job opportunity in another city and you need to be nearby. Perhaps your child has special needs and there are more resources near your current location. Perhaps you simply like the vibe of a different campus or atmosphere at another school better than Penn Law.
Maybe you can’t pass the law school’s minimum test score: If you don’t have a perfect LSAT of 150, then you will probably not be able to get into Penn Law. Maybe your employer requires that you take a specific course load that isn’t available at Penn Law or doesn’t even exist at all. Maybe you simply prefer going to a smaller law school: You might prefer the atmosphere or location of a smaller, private college to the vibe of a large university with thousands of students and be fine with being close to home.
3. “Penn is too big / small.”
The word ‘Penn’ means something different depending on who hears it: Some people hear Penn as a slang word for prison, like “up the river”. Some people hear it as a place to get pita sandwiches. Some people think of the University of Pennsylvania, a private research university with about 10,000 undergraduates.
Penn Law is a law school at the University of Pennsylvania: It’s an Ivy League school with a small campus and an average class size of around 200. The law school is located in the heart of Philadelphia and has plenty of night life nearby for students to enjoy after class. Penn Law gives you a large professional network out of the gate that can help you get jobs throughout your career after graduation. If you are looking for a smaller, private college-like atmosphere then Penn Law might not be for you.
4. “The quality of education is low.”
As mentioned above, Penn Law has a reputation for being the best law school in America. This reputation is unsurprising given that Penn Law boasts one of the best faculties in the country and regularly places most or all of their graduates into prestigious spots at BigLaw firms or even federal clerkships. A few years ago, students began complaining about the $250K loans they had taken out to attend this school, but that’s just not fair: The quality of education is high, but you will pay if you want to go there.
Penn Law has a reputation for having one of the best legal minds in the country – thanks to Prof. Daniel Fischel (who is now at the University of Chicago) and Law & Economics Professor Richard A. Posner, a renowned scholar and judge who taught at Penn from 1967 to 1994. While these two legends are no longer with us, their work has inspired generations of Penn students to continue pushing the boundaries of what legal theory can be.
5. “The admissions office is unhelpful.”
Penn’s admissions office staff is some of the best in the business, from Admissions Director Stephen Burks to Assistant Dean for Admissions Mike O’Neill. The best thing you can do if you have a question is to email Mike. The best thing you can do if you don’t want to email Mike is to look at the website and interact via social media with the rest of the Penn Law community.