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Amherst or Tufts? (for law)

collegedecisionhelppleasecollegedecisionhelpplease Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
Hi!! I think I want to study law in college and I am torn between these two choices. Academics are the most important thing to me by far followed by student body and location as important factors. The advantages to Tufts include the access to Boston since this could provide internships, the availability of sororities, the connections that a larger school might provide because of alumni, and a larger student body that might mean that the campus has more going on. The disadvantages to Tufts are that I am not so sure I want to go to a school that is larger and that there are graduate students which may mean that most of the resources are devoted to them. Also, what would I study at Tufts if I eventually want to go to law school?
The advantages to Amherst include that it has very interesting classes, has smaller classes which might mean more attention, the open curriculum, and that it is generally considered one of the most prestigious colleges (not that Tufts isn't maybe just Amherst has the slight edge?). The disadvantages to Amherst include that it is more isolated, though it still has a nice size, and that a smaller student body might mean there is less to do. I am also looking for lacrosse and I have visited both teams and I really felt like I fit in at both, but maybe more so Tufts but only slightly. I am very torn between the two and any opinions would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks so much!!!!! :))
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Replies to: Amherst or Tufts? (for law)

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 58,721 Senior Member
    You do not study law as an undergraduate. You major in whatever you like at a college that does not cost too much, carefully choose classes and grade grub for the highest GPA, do as well as you can on the LSAT, and then try to get admitted to a top 14 law school (to have decent law job prospects).
  • merc81merc81 Registered User Posts: 6,254 Senior Member
    edited April 13
    Amherst graduates do particularly well with regard to admission to highly regarded law schools:

    https://www.collegetransitions.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Top-Producers-Lawyers-Infographic-e1459562437296.png

    For your interests, you may also want to consider colleges that emphasize writing:

    https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/writing-programs

    Btw, @ucbalumnus, the T-14 designation, as a literal description, seems to have been superseded as of this year.
  • collegedecisionhelppleasecollegedecisionhelpplease Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    edited April 13
    Thanks for your response @ucbalumnus ! I understand that I will not be studying law as an undergraduate. I was wondering if either of these schools would give me an advantage in getting into a top 14 law school?
  • collegedecisionhelppleasecollegedecisionhelpplease Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    edited April 13
    Thank you @merc81 ! That was very helpful!!!
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 3,139 Senior Member
    I don't think so -- both are well respected. Visit both and choose based on fit and cost.

    These are the T14 law schools @ucbalumnus referenced:

    Cal-Berkeley
    Chicago
    Columbia
    Cornell
    Duke
    Georgetown
    Harvard
    Michigan
    Northwestern
    NYU
    Penn
    Stanford
    UVA
    Yale
  • ThankYouforHelpThankYouforHelp Registered User Posts: 1,002 Senior Member
    Tufts is a great school, but generally speaking, Amherst is a step up in terms of academics, prestige, career opportunities and alumni network. As far as admission to top law schools goes in, Amherst may have the best placement record of any college in the country.

    For example, the best law school in America is Yale. Even though Amherst only graduates a few hundred students a year (and only a small percentage of those choose to go into law) there currently are 18 Amherst grads studying at Yale Law. This means that on a per capita basis, an Amherst student is more likely to get into Yale Law than a student at Princeton, Stanford, UChicago, or any other college other than Yale itself. In fact, Amherst currently has more of its students at Yale Law than the entire Southeastern Conference, with its 14 universities and 450,000 students. By contrast, there currently is one Tufts graduate at Yale Law.

    http://bulletin.printer.yale.edu/htmlfiles/law/law-school-students.html



  • collegedecisionhelppleasecollegedecisionhelpplease Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
  • merc81merc81 Registered User Posts: 6,254 Senior Member
    edited April 13
    The USNWR Top-14, formerly a consistent group, may change in the upcoming ranking:

    http://abovethelaw.com/2017/03/leaked-are-these-the-2018-u-s-news-law-school-rankings/
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 58,721 Senior Member
    edited April 13
    Amherst's open curriculum may help you in optimizing your course selection for law school and avoiding courses that post a risk to your GPA.

    http://lawschoolnumbers.com/application-prep/ugraduate

    Both Amherst and Tufts apparently do issue A+ grades, which are counted as higher than A grades for law school application GPA purposes.

    Undergraduate majors offered differ at the two schools; if you are interested in types of law practice that benefit from specific undergraduate majors, check that they are offered.

    However, note that law school is expensive, so avoiding debt and saving money for law school is an important factor in the choice of undergraduate school, if some of your choices are much more or less expensive than others.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 8,523 Senior Member
    edited April 13
    Are you accepted to both and deciding right now which to attend or applying in the future?
    Academics are the most important thing to me by far followed by student body and location as important factors. The advantages to Tufts include the access to Boston since this could provide internships, the availability of sororities, the connections that a larger school might provide because of alumni, and a larger student body that might mean that the campus has more going on. The disadvantages to Tufts are that I am not so sure I want to go to a school that is larger and that there are graduate students which may mean that most of the resources are devoted to them. Also, what would I study at Tufts if I eventually want to go to law school?

    The advantages to Amherst include that it has very interesting classes, has smaller classes which might mean more attention, the open curriculum, and that it is generally considered one of the most prestigious colleges (not that Tufts isn't maybe just Amherst has the slight edge?). The disadvantages to Amherst include that it is more isolated, though it still has a nice size, and that a smaller student body might mean there is less to do. I am also looking for lacrosse and I have visited both teams and I really felt like I fit in at both, but maybe more so Tufts but only slightly. I am very torn between the two and any opinions would be greatly appreciated!!

    You can study whatever you want and go to law school. Amherst has a major called "Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought" that is popular but literally may major is fine. Traditionally I'd bet PoliticalScience, English, History and similar are pre-law sorts of majors - Tufts or Amherst.

    Being near Boston at Tufts means internship access during the school year, but for summer internships either one should work. Amherst has a lot of support for those, Tufts probably does too but I don't know.

    Amherst isn't isolated - the area has 5 colleges and one of them has 25K students, so it's buzzing all the time. It is a rural area otherwise but beautiful and only 2 hours from Boston and 3 to NYC with regular bus and train service to both.

    I don't think you can really walk onto the LAX team at either one, both recruit heavily, but if that's important to you , talk to a coach about that specifically (or did you already? I can't quite tell from your post).
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 58,721 Senior Member
    edited April 13
    OHMomof2 wrote:
    Traditionally I'd bet PoliticalScience, English, History and similar are pre-law sorts of majors - Tufts or Amherst.

    http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source/data-(lsac-resources)-docs/2015-16_applicants-major.pdf indicates that political science is the most popular major among law school applicants.

    However, the strongest LSAT takers (>160 average) were those who majored in classics, mathematics, physics (general), bio/medical engineering, statistics, physics (specialization), nuclear engineering, and astronomy.
  • MastadonMastadon Registered User Posts: 1,207 Senior Member
    The decision really comes down to a mascot analysis.

    Would you rather play for a school with one of the best mascots in the country....
    or,
    Would you rather play for a school that recently changed its mascot to a hairy, extinct, copy? :-)
    http://admissions.tufts.edu/blogs/jumbo-talk/post/jumbos-the-best-college-mascot-in-america/ http://wwlp.com/2017/03/17/amherst-college-announces-finalists-for-new-mascots/
    https://www.amherst.edu/amherst-story/mascot
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 3,139 Senior Member
    edited April 13
    What was wrong with Lord Jeffs? That's an awesome, unique name!

    And Jumbos is pretty cool too.

    NESCAC is pretty awesome for mascots.

    Others notable NESCAC mascots:

    Ephs
    Continentals
    Camels
    Bantams
    Mules


  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 8,523 Senior Member
    @prezbucky the students weren't feeling the urge to rally enthusiastically around a dude who advocated killing Native Americans in various grisly ways including bio-warfare. There's a whole thread on it in the Amherst forum if you care to discuss.
  • ThankYouforHelpThankYouforHelp Registered User Posts: 1,002 Senior Member
    Yeah, turns out that people learned that old Lord Jeff was into the "give smallpox blankets to the natives" thing. Not the best choice for a mascot.

    Mammoths is a good substitute, since they lived in the area and Amherst has a nice skeleton of one in its natural history museum.
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