IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

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Padimud
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IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby Padimud » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:47 am

I find myself going back and forth over and over again about where to matriculate. I realize that the options I have are all very different (not only in region but in end opportunity). I plan to work in as big as a firm as possible for 3-5 years post law school, then most likely scale it back in order to have a good family life. I would in the end like to end up anyway west of the Rocky Mountains= Colorado- West.

Interest in Business Law most likely focusing on the transactional side of Anti-trust, PE/VC, Business strategy.

I also have 2 other legitimate offers, but scholarships have not come out yet for them so I have left them out of consideration. I plan on visiting each school in the next month.
Here is the offers to make it easier.
Iowa= Full tuition with RA work required and top third placement
W&M = 19,200/year Graduate fellow with work requirement and B average contingency
Arizona= $25K/year guaranteed
ASU = Full first year, $15K second year, and I am in negotiations for the third year, all guaranteed.

Preferences, reasons? THANK YOU for any insights!

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:47 pm

Your interests require a large national firm that's based in one of the global cities or DC. Global means NY/LA/CHI, period. Your geographic preference is going to start out secondary to this.

Based on your interests, the only realistic choices are Iowa or W&M. The recruiting at Arizona and ASU does your career goals no good whatsoever. Put it this way: There are ordinarily more California corporate firms at W&M's OCI than at both the Arizona schools combined.

Class rank is unpredictable no matter how confident you are. It's certanly more likely/easier to pull a W&M 3.0 average than Iowa top 1/3. I will point out that again, the scholorship minimums don't really do your career goals any good. You will need good grades at either. W&M has a somewhat better shot at placing you, with most of that on the East Coast.

I think W&M is your best bet in terms of risk/reward. You're more unlikely to lose the $$$ and it takes care of most of the tuition; Iowa scholorship apparently still has living expenses left to you anyway.

This is still a fairly difficult proposition you're going to be trying to pull off career wise, so you should ask yourself if you would be happy doing something else. For well over half the class at Iowa or W&M, that's the reality after 1L.

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby Padimud » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:20 pm

ScaredWorkedBored wrote:Your interests require a large national firm that's based in one of the global cities or DC. Global means NY/LA/CHI, period. Your geographic preference is going to start out secondary to this.

Based on your interests, the only realistic choices are Iowa or W&M. The recruiting at Arizona and ASU does your career goals no good whatsoever. Put it this way: There are ordinarily more California corporate firms at W&M's OCI than at both the Arizona schools combined.

Class rank is unpredictable no matter how confident you are. It's certanly more likely/easier to pull a W&M 3.0 average than Iowa top 1/3. I will point out that again, the scholorship minimums don't really do your career goals any good. You will need good grades at either. W&M has a somewhat better shot at placing you, with most of that on the East Coast.

I think W&M is your best bet in terms of risk/reward. You're more unlikely to lose the $$$ and it takes care of most of the tuition; Iowa scholorship apparently still has living expenses left to you anyway.

This is still a fairly difficult proposition you're going to be trying to pull off career wise, so you should ask yourself if you would be happy doing something else. For well over half the class at Iowa or W&M, that's the reality after 1L.


Thank you for your input. When I said "big as possible" I did not necessarily mean BIGLAW, just meant a firm larger than 100 attorneys as I don't have any desire to live in the office all day everyday for the rest of my life. Realizing that my selection to Arizona would limit possibilities for BigLaw the guaranteed money is tempting.

Anyone else's thoughts?

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:50 pm

Padimud wrote:
ScaredWorkedBored wrote:Your interests require a large national firm that's based in one of the global cities or DC. Global means NY/LA/CHI, period. Your geographic preference is going to start out secondary to this.

Based on your interests, the only realistic choices are Iowa or W&M. The recruiting at Arizona and ASU does your career goals no good whatsoever. Put it this way: There are ordinarily more California corporate firms at W&M's OCI than at both the Arizona schools combined.

Class rank is unpredictable no matter how confident you are. It's certanly more likely/easier to pull a W&M 3.0 average than Iowa top 1/3. I will point out that again, the scholorship minimums don't really do your career goals any good. You will need good grades at either. W&M has a somewhat better shot at placing you, with most of that on the East Coast.

I think W&M is your best bet in terms of risk/reward. You're more unlikely to lose the $$$ and it takes care of most of the tuition; Iowa scholorship apparently still has living expenses left to you anyway.

This is still a fairly difficult proposition you're going to be trying to pull off career wise, so you should ask yourself if you would be happy doing something else. For well over half the class at Iowa or W&M, that's the reality after 1L.


Thank you for your input. When I said "big as possible" I did not necessarily mean BIGLAW, just meant a firm larger than 100 attorneys.


Don't pay attention to internet chatter about how "real biglaw firms have 300+ lawyers." Anything that has 100+ lawyers and pays six-figure starting salaries is going to be seriously demanding compared to most jobs. The difference is generally between 1800ish billable hours (which is hard work) and 2000-2200+ (which is soul killing).

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby RVP11 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:55 pm

Looks like from your current selection of schools and geographical desires you'll probably practice in Arizona immediately after school. I'd go ahead and drop W&M from discussion.

If the ASU offer doesn't increase, go to UofA. It's the slightly better school.

Iowa, interestingly, places quite well in Arizona if you're near the top of your class, so it's worth consideration. But I still think, as the offers stand now, UofA would be the best pick.

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:00 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:Looks like from your current selection of schools and geographical desires you'll probably practice in Arizona immediately after school. I'd go ahead and drop W&M from discussion.


On this, he really, really needs to make up his mind if he's about the location or the scale/money of the practice. There is certainly legal work in Arizona, but it's a tertiary market if he's seriously thinking of doing transactional antitrust or PE work. That's a specific enough interest that there's presumably something behind it.

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Padimud
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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby Padimud » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:01 pm

Thanks guys. It is interesting to me that West may have been interpreted as AZ. I am still waiting on a scholarship offer from Colorado which may swing things as I think long-term I would prefer the Denver market over the Phoenix. Overall though I am not dead set on the West, it would be nice to be close to my and my wife's family in the long-term but taking my first job back East wouldn't kill me.

How much weight should W&M's minor national reputation have and overall rank when considering it against the region schools listed? Right now it's 6's between the 5 schools (Colorado with pending offer, as I will withdraw if I receive nothing, AZ, ASU, W&M, and Iowa. Each have advantages. My preference would be to shy away from soul killing and stay between 1800-2000 billable hours.

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby daddymike » Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:07 am

I agree with the Iowa v. W&M showdown, like another poster suggested.

Additional notes are that maintaining top 1/3 at Iowa might be harder than 3.0 gpa at W&M. That is something well worth considering if you aren't gpa prone yourself.

To play devil's adovcate, going to Iowa would let you study under Herbert Hovenkamp, and if you have any passion for anti-trust law you would know exactly who that is. While it is far from guaranteed, it would not be impossible to get the RA position working directly under him.

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby Veyron » Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:26 am

Padimud wrote:I find myself going back and forth over and over again about where to matriculate. I realize that the options I have are all very different (not only in region but in end opportunity). I plan to work in as big as a firm as possible for 3-5 years post law school, then most likely scale it back in order to have a good family life. I would in the end like to end up anyway west of the Rocky Mountains= Colorado- West.

Interest in Business Law most likely focusing on the transactional side of Anti-trust, PE/VC, Business strategy.

I also have 2 other legitimate offers, but scholarships have not come out yet for them so I have left them out of consideration. I plan on visiting each school in the next month.
Here is the offers to make it easier.
Iowa= Full tuition with RA work required and top third placement
W&M = 19,200/year Graduate fellow with work requirement and B average contingency
Arizona= $25K/year guaranteed
ASU = Full first year, $15K second year, and I am in negotiations for the third year, all guaranteed.

Preferences, reasons? THANK YOU for any insights!


Ok, I usually scorn non T-14’s but I have a soft spot in my heart for Arizona. Since the state only has two (fully accredited) law schools, they both tend to place better than the would indicate. 25k a year is nothing to sneeze at there since I think you can get residency after the first year. Arizona places better in Arizona than ASU and also gives the very top of the class options in SoCal.

As to why Arizona, well, to be honest, you will either love it or hate it. I know you said something about raising a family and AZ is a really great place to do that. Low COL, low crime (as long as you are not an illegal – they tend to get victimized), all sorts of environments from diverse cities to homogeneous suburbs. As you can see from my profile, I got into NYU and will G-d willing, have many options besides practicing in AZ, many involving higher pay than could be achieved here. I still plan on coming back here. I love the natural beauty, the people and the lifestyle that much. Its sure a much better market than those other schools feed into.

Also FWIW, Phoenix "Biglaw" blows away almost every other market in the country when it coumes to the ratio between pay and COL.

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Padimud
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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby Padimud » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:23 pm

Sounds like some would take it down to Iowa vs. W&M, while others would not take Arizona out of the mix. I feel like from an offer standpoint there isn't a true front-runner when all things are considered. Does anyone have any reason to refute that claim?

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby webbylu87 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:29 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:Iowa, interestingly, places quite well in Arizona if you're near the top of your class, so it's worth consideration. But I still think, as the offers stand now, UofA would be the best pick.


FWIW, I know of an Iowa grad who got a job with DLA Piper in Phoenix before graduation.

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby sanpiero » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:55 pm

Veyron wrote:Since the state only has two (fully accredited) law schools, they both tend to place better than the would indicate. 25k a year is nothing to sneeze at there since I think you can get residency after the first year.


It is very difficult to attain residency at UofA for 2L, doing so for 3L is easier. Keep this in mind, OP. Even if you don't attain residency at all, however, you are only looking at about $80k in debt from UofA (depending on how you spend). IMO, that is an attractive investment. You can get to CA from UofA, and if that doesn't work out, you graduated from the best LS in the Southwest corridor (Nevada, CA -- SD southward, AZ, NM, CO, UT). If you do well at UofA, I think you have a good shot at landing an associateship at a firm w/ a strong commercial transactions practice. If you are dead-set-on anti-trust, as the PP said, I don't see how you could go wrong with Iowa.

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby Padimud » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:46 pm

I am definitely not dead-set on anything at this point. I have interest in various aspects of Corporation law with no true passion for anything quite yet.

So is it safe to say that no one would take ASU over Arizona if they have similar financial offers? It sounds like on this TLS board anyway that ASU has dropped on the map.

Also can one really say Arizona is the best across CO,UT, NV, NM. I can buy NV, NM but in CO, UT they both have strong schools within their borders.

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby keg411 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:32 pm

Padimud wrote:I am definitely not dead-set on anything at this point. I have interest in various aspects of Corporation law with no true passion for anything quite yet.

So is it safe to say that no one would take ASU over Arizona if they have similar financial offers? It sounds like on this TLS board anyway that ASU has dropped on the map.

Also can one really say Arizona is the best across CO,UT, NV, NM. I can buy NV, NM but in CO, UT they both have strong schools within their borders.


I would check around in some of the Arizona and ASU threads in the "Acceptances... etc." forum to see if you can get more of an idea of the placement differences. I think ASU's location trumps UofA's slightly higher ranking, but that's because Phoenix >>> Tucson and because neither school seems to place through OCI, I would think there would be more direct networking opportunities through ASU. But I could be totally completely wrong on that and there could be a far bigger difference than the rankings show. It's probably best to ask someone who is familiar with the AZ legal markets.

See what you can do about the GPA requirement at Iowa. If you can get it reduced or lifted, than Iowa is probably the best choice. If Denver is really your desired market then go to Colorado no matter what the other considerations are. I wouldn't even bother with W&M.

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby sanpiero » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:45 pm

Padimud wrote:Also can one really say Arizona is the best across CO,UT, NV, NM. I can buy NV, NM but in CO, UT they both have strong schools within their borders.


I was just speaking to the fact that UofA has the highest USNWR rank in said region. I would assume you'd take UofA over BYU and Boulder, unless you definitely want to practice in either of those school's home state.

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby sanpiero » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:50 pm

Padimud wrote:So is it safe to say that no one would take ASU over Arizona if they have similar financial offers? It sounds like on this TLS board anyway that ASU has dropped on the map.


I had to choose btw the two last cycle. They were going to cost about the same after scholarship. I chose ASU because it is closer to Phoenix (where most grads at both schools end-up working and where many externships are available) and because it is, at least slightly, more lenient with granting residency for 2L.

I would also say that if you want to work outside AZ, ASU is not your best option (unless of course you have connections in your hometown or another area outside AZ). UofA places better outside the state. If ASU doesn't offer anything for 3L, it looks like UofA will be less costly. For me, it'd be difficult to choose ASU over UofA when UofA would cost less.

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby Veyron » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:16 pm

U of A has slightly better placement, ASU has a better location. I would go for U of A in this economy if $ = $.

Strength is a relative term in the Mountain West. BYU has very strong placement completely unrelated to its ranking because of the awesome power of its network. Other than that though, U of A and Colorado are both similarly ranked. The difference here in my mind is that the Denver legal market is one of the most difficult legal markets in the country to crack biglaw. Getting a job there will be incredibly competitive.

All I can say about Iowa is, if you want to live in Iowa, go there otherwise, don't, exp. since your scholly has a rank requirement (some schools put all the scholly recipients in the same section to maximize the people who loose their $, not sure if Iowa does this).

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby RVP11 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:25 pm

Veyron wrote:The difference here in my mind is that the Denver legal market is one of the most difficult legal markets in the country to crack biglaw. Getting a job there will be incredibly competitive.


That's not completely different from Phoenix...

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby sanpiero » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:50 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
Veyron wrote:The difference here in my mind is that the Denver legal market is one of the most difficult legal markets in the country to crack biglaw. Getting a job there will be incredibly competitive.


That's not completely different from Phoenix...


+1

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby Padimud » Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:11 pm

I would tend to think that Phoenix and Denver are very similar in the difficulty of BigLaw due to the fact that they both have 2 schools in very close proximity.

For me it will all come down to feeling at the schools as I am visiting all four of those on the list. Being LDS BYU is also an option, however in the end I will most likely find myself and my family at one of these 4 schools.

Does the Phoenix/Tucson market offer more opportunity then the Colorado market? Doesn't W&M name travel better across the country then any of the others.

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby Veyron » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:38 am

W and M will not travel out west any better than any other east coast TTT. This school gets tons of credibility on this board but remember that it is highly populated with people from the mid-atlantic. It will place worse in the West than Arizona (or BYU for that matter) and will send you further into debt. Think about it, your hiring partner in Phoenix (or elsewhere for that matter) is likely to fall into one of four categories:

Went to the state's law school. Will respect the top of the class at the state law school the highest, followed by the T-14, UCLA, Texas, BYU, then all other schools in the country outside of the region - which they will treat about equaly outside of some very strong regional ones like BU (or BC, I always forget which one has the better law school) which may get a slight boost.

Went to the T-14, UCLA, Texas. Will respect decent T-14, UCLA, Texas students the highest followed by the top of the class at the local law schools, BYU, and then non regional schools. As a T-6 student, hopefully this is me some day. I will not be giving you props for going to school only slightly higher ranked than a school like U of A from which I am already familiar with the quality of the associates. In fact, prior to your poast, I was not aware that W and M was higher ranked, I would have said that U of A was the better school even nationally (as do I suspect, most hiring partners in Arizona, just as most in CO think will think that Colorado will be higher ranked). Nor, to be honest, will I care since I went to such a better school than you anyway. I'm probably just going to think you are a dumb striver who couldn't crack the T-14 but still decided to go out of region for whatever reason. I will be charitable and just guess that you actually wanted to practice on the east coast but are using my firm as a backup option. I will question your commitment to my market. Note though that a Colorado grad, for instance, would probably not have the same scorn heaped upon him and indeed, other strong regional schools tend to place decently in Arizona relative to their ranking as long as good ties are provided.

Went to BYU. Will respect the very decent students from BYU the most followed by top of class at local schools, T-14, UCLA, Texas, out of region TTT's.

Went to Nortre Dame (same as above but switch BYU with NU, put BU after the T-14). This will probably only be an issue at one of our biglaw firms.

In scanning our firm bios, very very few hiring partners went to out of region TTT's.

While the Phoenix market is difficult to break into (just like every other market in the country), Denver is uniquely difficult because of the desirability of the area surrounding Denver (I hear they have great outdoor stuff to do there or whatever). Supposedly, this attracts applicants with no ties to try to summer there just to hang out in CO for a summer with no intention of practicing there, which is why Denver firms place super high value on ties when doing summer hiring. It also means that they have the option of taking a chance on T-6 grads who they hope will "come for the summer and stay for the lifestyle."

--> A protip. You might want to take another look at BYU if that is an option. They place like a local school in AZ, CO, and UT because of their unique angle. Thus, it might give you the best traveling options if you know you want to end up out west. I can tell you that most Phoenix firms have several BYU grads on their roster.

Now, as for the Phoenix, Tucson legal market: Its rough right now, there are only about 80 spots for "biglaw" OCI in Phoenix this year. That being said, you are unlikely to get biglaw from any of the schools you mention. The one thing about the Phoenix and Tucson legal market though is that it actually has midlaw. Now, these jobs are difficult to get but they give decent pay with decent hours, something you might appreciate if you have a family. I highly recommend taking a look at http://www.randyswart.com/LFAZ.htm and checking out some of your options in AZ.

I apologize for the long poast, I hope it has been informative.

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby RVP11 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:09 pm

80 BigLaw SA spots in Phoenix? Not even close. This summer there will maybe be 30-40 max. Wouldn't surprise me if there are 25 or fewer. Down from well over 100 in the good economy. Two of the largest firms (Q&B and G&K) aren't even taking summer classes at all. A ton of firms that used to take over half a dozen are only taking 1 or 2. And my definition is actually inclusive of many firms that are MidLaw. Yes, Phoenix actually has MidLaw - no, these firms aren't hiring, either.

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby Veyron » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:09 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:80 BigLaw SA spots in Phoenix? Not even close. This summer there will maybe be 30-40 max. Wouldn't surprise me if there are 25 or fewer. Down from well over 100 in the good economy. Two of the largest firms (Q&B and G&K) aren't even taking summer classes at all. A ton of firms that used to take over half a dozen are only taking 1 or 2. And my definition is actually inclusive of many firms that are MidLaw. Yes, Phoenix actually has MidLaw - no, these firms aren't hiring, either.


Oh shit, didn't know it had dropped off that much since last summer. Still, I know midlaw isn't really hiring now but honestly, OP's only hoap given the schools he is considering is that hiring picks up, otherwise he will be fucked like virtually every other law student in America without stellar #'s from a T-14 (and like lots of those as well). I mean, what market isn't fucked right now?

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby sanpiero » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:19 pm

awesome link, veyron

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Re: IOWA $$$ vs. W&M $ vs. Arizona & ASU $$

Postby Veyron » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:02 pm

sanpiero wrote:awesome link, veyron


You are most welcome.




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