Florida (Gainesville)

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MandyNC
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Florida (Gainesville)

Postby MandyNC » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:50 pm

Hello TLSers,

I'm an NC resident with a 163/3.7 who, while not yet into UNC, is crossing her fingers for it as a top choice. I like North Carolina, and feel the school has opportunities to engage in serious scholarship in addition to offering good prospects in the state.

The hubs, who was on a PhD track in genetics before his project lost funding, just called me completely excited about the University of Florida. He knows people there in the right places, they have strong programs in exactly what he wants to do (tropical butterflies!), etc. etc. etc. He's planning a trip down there to talk to his connections etc. and sounds positive about getting his career back on track for the first time in awhile. Lots of different labs/projects he could work on, in addition to a couple grad programs that would fit his interests in the sciences. I love the hubs, and am not particularly averse to palm trees.

So, a few questions:

1) It is very late in the app. cycle. I submitted over a month ago to my other schools. Is it too late to have a solid shot at UF, with money?
2) How much am I giving up with the drop from UNC to UF? Does that degree have ANY portability?
3) Assuming me, the hubs, and the butterflies hang out in Florida for a few years, are job prospects there decent?
4) What is the culture of the school like? I'm probably getting my app in today just to give us the option, but have this (totally uninformed) picture in my head of undergrad blondies holding beer cans on the beach, and that's all I can picture when I think "Florida."

My immediate ambitions are to practice at a medium-to-big-law sized firm for several years in the local region of whatever school I end up at. But I am also a strong writer/editor with a philosophy background, was a much stronger student in my last two years of school, and am excited to kick ass on a journal. So, does Florida offer those opportunities?

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toolshed
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Re: Florida (Gainesville)

Postby toolshed » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:54 pm

MandyNC wrote:Hello TLSers,

I'm an NC resident with a 163/3.7 who, while not yet into UNC, is crossing her fingers for it as a top choice. I like North Carolina, and feel the school has opportunities to engage in serious scholarship in addition to offering good prospects in the state.

The hubs, who was on a PhD track in genetics before his project lost funding, just called me completely excited about the University of Florida. He knows people there in the right places, they have strong programs in exactly what he wants to do (tropical butterflies!), etc. etc. etc. He's planning a trip down there to talk to his connections etc. and sounds positive about getting his career back on track for the first time in awhile. Lots of different labs/projects he could work on, in addition to a couple grad programs that would fit his interests in the sciences. I love the hubs, and am not particularly averse to palm trees.

So, a few questions:

1) It is very late in the app. cycle. I submitted over a month ago to my other schools. Is it too late to have a solid shot at UF, with money?
2) How much am I giving up with the drop from UNC to UF? Does that degree have ANY portability?
3) Assuming me, the hubs, and the butterflies hang out in Florida for a few years, are job prospects there decent?
4) What is the culture of the school like? I'm probably getting my app in today just to give us the option, but have this (totally uninformed) picture in my head of undergrad blondies holding beer cans on the beach, and that's all I can picture when I think "Florida."

My immediate ambitions are to practice at a medium-to-big-law sized firm for several years in the local region of whatever school I end up at. But I am also a strong writer/editor with a philosophy background, was a much stronger student in my last two years of school, and am excited to kick ass on a journal. So, does Florida offer those opportunities?


I can't speak to most of this, but for the bolded: Gainesville is not that type of FLorida. Gainesville is much more Southern Georgia. There is a beach about 90 minutes to the east, but nothing special. You won't see any palm trees (except for transplants). You are situated in the center of the state and essentially surrounded by wilderness. So I would definitely visit before you make any decisions.

MandyNC
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Re: Florida (Gainesville)

Postby MandyNC » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:42 pm

Thanks. And yes, I know, and was mostly kidding.

Anwers to my other qs?

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Miltiades
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Re: Florida (Gainesville)

Postby Miltiades » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:48 pm

Hmmm. It is tough to know about the scholarship money. Maybe the connections of your hubs can help you?

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beesknees
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Re: Florida (Gainesville)

Postby beesknees » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:55 pm

Do you want to practice in Florida after graduation? UF has a good presence in Florida. Once you cross the state line, employment prospects will diminish rapidly.

I would imagine, UNC is the UF equivalent in the Carolinas. Neither of those schools have remarkable portability outside their respective states, I'd imagine.

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Cupidity
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Re: Florida (Gainesville)

Postby Cupidity » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:01 pm

You will not get any $. Gainesville is an amazing city w something for everyone. Portability at top of class, top 5-10% because of massive alumni network.

MandyNC
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Re: Florida (Gainesville)

Postby MandyNC » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:16 pm

Thanks, Cupidity!

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elcielo36
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Re: Florida (Gainesville)

Postby elcielo36 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:08 pm

I went to UF for undergrad and have to say that Gainesville is an amazing place. I also worked at UF Law for a while and loved the campus and atmosphere. While it isn't the "palm tree" type of place, it is equally enthralling, with a lot of lush vegetation and natural springs surrounding Gainesville. As someone who grew up in South Florida with palm trees, beaches and elderly drivers everywhere, that side of Florida gets old very quickly.

I really don't know about having a shot at money, but your numbers certainly are strong for UF. Remember also that you can get in-state tuition and residency relatively easily in Florida (and I"m not sure about getting in-state at UNC).

And yes, as far as portability goes, I don't see a UF Law degree being any more portable than one from UNC. Job prospects around much of Florida are about as bad as it gets, but remember - UF has very low tuition, so you won't have the insane debt that many others will have.

UF and Gainesville as a whole are very low stress places with plenty of diversity (ethnic, political, cultural religious, etc). It will surprise you. I would easily pick living in Gainesville over living in places like Miami or West Palm. You don't have to be a sports fan to be at UF, but with such amazing athletics, the school definitely feels special as a result. I would imagine that your husband's program is fantastic at UF - I've been to the butterfly museum a few times. They have a top-notch entomology program (my roommate was a zoology major). I definitely enjoyed my four years there...but four years (and 21 years in FL total) is enough for me.

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UFMatt
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Re: Florida (Gainesville)

Postby UFMatt » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:59 pm

MandyNC wrote:1) It is very late in the app. cycle. I submitted over a month ago to my other schools. Is it too late to have a solid shot at UF, with money?
2) How much am I giving up with the drop from UNC to UF? Does that degree have ANY portability?
3) Assuming me, the hubs, and the butterflies hang out in Florida for a few years, are job prospects there decent?
4) What is the culture of the school like? I'm probably getting my app in today just to give us the option, but have this (totally uninformed) picture in my head of undergrad blondies holding beer cans on the beach, and that's all I can picture when I think "Florida."

My immediate ambitions are to practice at a medium-to-big-law sized firm for several years in the local region of whatever school I end up at. But I am also a strong writer/editor with a philosophy background, was a much stronger student in my last two years of school, and am excited to kick ass on a journal. So, does Florida offer those opportunities?


FWIW, I went to UF for undergrad and grad school, although I am not from Florida originally. I'm going to be going out of state this fall for law school.

1. UF strikes me as being stingy with money, but fortunately is fairly cheap. With in-state tuition, it's very affordable.

2. UF law is not very portable but is strong in Florida.

3. I'd look into whether you'd be comfortable living in Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, etc. as a UF degree is limited out of state.

4. As an undergrad, it felt very much like a party school. As a grad student, it felt much different (the College of Medicine is partially isolated from the undergrad portion of campus). The law school is the same way. It's tucked away from the undergrads and seems to be a relaxed place.

The butterfly museum here is only a few years old and, from what I've read, is top notch. The entomology building is also tucked away from the undergrads and strikes me as being fairly strong here.

Overall, I've loved it here. It's a relaxed college town within a 2 hour drive of Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Orlando, and Tampa. My brother-in-law went to UNC, and according to him, Gainesville reminds him somewhat of RTP.

wpc1532
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Re: Florida (Gainesville)

Postby wpc1532 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:12 am

elcielo36 wrote:I went to UF for undergrad and have to say that Gainesville is an amazing place. I also worked at UF Law for a while and loved the campus and atmosphere. While it isn't the "palm tree" type of place, it is equally enthralling, with a lot of lush vegetation and natural springs surrounding Gainesville. As someone who grew up in South Florida with palm trees, beaches and elderly drivers everywhere, that side of Florida gets old very quickly.

I really don't know about having a shot at money, but your numbers certainly are strong for UF. Remember also that you can get in-state tuition and residency relatively easily in Florida (and I"m not sure about getting in-state at UNC).

And yes, as far as portability goes, I don't see a UF Law degree being any more portable than one from UNC. Job prospects around much of Florida are about as bad as it gets, but remember - UF has very low tuition, so you won't have the insane debt that many others will have.

UF and Gainesville as a whole are very low stress places with plenty of diversity (ethnic, political, cultural religious, etc). It will surprise you. I would easily pick living in Gainesville over living in places like Miami or West Palm. You don't have to be a sports fan to be at UF, but with such amazing athletics, the school definitely feels special as a result. I would imagine that your husband's program is fantastic at UF - I've been to the butterfly museum a few times. They have a top-notch entomology program (my roommate was a zoology major). I definitely enjoyed my four years there...but four years (and 21 years in FL total) is enough for me.

this is a euphemism for "UF is located in a swamp." It's the only thing in the city, as there are woods all around it.

I too am a resident of Florida's south-east side, and I agree that the beach, old people, and palm trees get old after a while. I don't mean to shit on UF as it's a very good school and, as one poster has already commented, more like south Georgia than Florida. I have a friend that's a 1L at UF now and he loves it because while everyone is getting trashed at the football game he gets to go out, to the store and the nature preserves on the outskirts and enjoy the city.

ram jam
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Re: Florida (Gainesville)

Postby ram jam » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:51 pm

no palm trees in gainesville, for the record.

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Lomax
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Re: Florida (Gainesville)

Postby Lomax » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:52 am

ram jam wrote:no palm trees in gainesville, for the record.


Try Google Earth. There are plenty of palm trees in Gainesville.

I'm visiting UF and Gainesville tomorrow and the day after, actually. I've been there before, but not in a while. UF is one of my top choices right now, and not just because the "real" Kevin Lomax graduated from there [at the top of his class].

The others seem to have done a good job of answering your questions, Mandy, but I'll add a few things.

In response to your questions:

1) I, like Cupidity, would assume that you have little to no chance at receiving scholarship money. If you get any, it will be very little. But I would also think you a lock for admission. If it was a couple weeks before the application deadline, then you might have reason to worry. But you're well above the median in GPA and well above the 75th percentile in LSAT, and the LSN graphs, if they're anything to go by, show solid green (with some anomaly yellows, mostly March applicants) around and behind you over the past few years.
2) I don't know about portability. The numbers tell us that a very small percentage of graduates get recruited for jobs outside of Florida or at least the Southeast right out of school. However, where they go - or, more importantly, are able to go - from there isn't clearly indicated. Note that UF ranks at #8 in the 2010 Super Lawyers U.S. Law School Rankings. While most of those alumni "Super Lawyers" are practicing in Florida, some are practicing in VA, CO, LA, etc. UNC ranks at #30 in the Super Lawyers Rankings, by the way. You might be giving up less than you think.
3) See above. Plenty of shenanigans going on in FL. How do you think all those Super Lawyers are made? Half of the TV commercials are for law offices, at least in South Florida. I'm no expert, but I would think you'd have a good enough shot at finding work, given what you're looking to do.
4) I can't add anything specifically about the culture, but I can tell you that there is no beach to the west of Gainesville, and the one to the east, in and around St. Augustine, is two hours away. However, St. Augustine is a gem. I'd love to spend my weekends there. People talk about stifling heat, but coming from the north, all I can think about are the wonderfully warm winters! It gets hot all over the country in the summer, but only in Florida (and maybe Southern California and Hawaii) does it stay in the 70s in January. Palm trees and sand might get old for some, but I can't see much wrong with getting my work done in a Miami high-rise before hitting South Beach and spending my weekends on the water while some poor schmucks in NYC freeze their butts off.

OH, by the way, if you want a little Hollywoodized taste of Gainesville, see The Devil's Advocate. :twisted:

hitmon33
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Re: Florida (Gainesville)

Postby hitmon33 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:57 am

I went to UF as well because of a full-ride, and I kind-of, sort-of regret it. I was a California boy from San Diego and I didn't mesh too well with the small living style of Gainesville, which is definitely more "southern Georgia" than Miami. Sports were great and I loved going to the basketball and football games.

There is a fair bit of diversity there, no doubt, but I think the southern aspect dominates. The main reason I didn't like Gainesville too much, however, was that the city was too small for me. It's really loaded with young people too and there's not a lot of entertainment (at least the stuff I like to do).

The best thing about Gainesville though is the campus has a golf course on-site. And a yearly membership for students is like $800. It's ridiculously cheap and great fun.




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