What if I don't know where I want to be?

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mango26
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What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby mango26 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:38 pm

This is probably a dumb question...but I don't really have anyone else to ask...

So unless I am miraculously admitted by one of the reaches I am still waiting to hear from I will be choosing between two regional schools. Over the 3 years the cost will only be about $15k difference. I know people on here always say when choosing between regional schools to go to the one in the place you can see yourself working and living in the future, but what if I don't know where I want to move??? I can see myself in both locations (Florida or LA).
I can't be the only person on here who is in a similar situation. So anyone who has made or is making a similar decision between regional schools how are you doing it? I'm just scared I'm going to make the wrong choice for the wrong reasons, etc.

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nick637
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby nick637 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:41 pm

op, i am in a similar situation. Me being a little younger than most law students, i couldnt care less where I spend the next few years of my life. I am having to decide between three cities in three very different parts of the country. I think im just gonna follow the money

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iShotFirst
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby iShotFirst » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:46 pm

mango26 wrote:This is probably a dumb question...but I don't really have anyone else to ask...

So unless I am miraculously admitted by one of the reaches I am still waiting to hear from I will be choosing between two regional schools. Over the 3 years the cost will only be about $15k difference. I know people on here always say when choosing between regional schools to go to the one in the place you can see yourself working and living in the future, but what if I don't know where I want to move??? I can see myself in both locations (Florida or LA).
I can't be the only person on here who is in a similar situation. So anyone who has made or is making a similar decision between regional schools how are you doing it? I'm just scared I'm going to make the wrong choice for the wrong reasons, etc.


Well in your case I would think about the differences between Florida and LA. These are VERY different places, and surely there is something that would make you lean more towards one rather than the other. Its not a question of "I really want Florida" or "I really want LA", I'd just research and hopefully visit the places and see which has whatever random thing that makes you feel more comfortable.

Another concern you might have is how powerful the school is in its region. The highest ranked school in Florida is 40s or 50s I believe, whereas California has many top top schools. So whichever Florida school it is might be better than the LA school. (For example U of Miami is probably better than Loyola LA as far as employment prospects).

I am in the same boat, with no ties to any specific area, but I already know certain things I want, type of weather etc. Surely you can find some factor like this that can make your choice easier.

crm
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby crm » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:47 pm

nick637 wrote:op, i am in a similar situation. Me being a little younger than most law students, i couldnt care less where I spend the next few years of my life. I am having to decide between three cities in three very different parts of the country. I think im just gonna follow the money



+1, scary thought too since I have never lived more than 4 hours away from where I grew up and now I am picking up and probably moving clear across the country...I'd have to say I'm going to follow the money too. Good luck on your decision, like the post above FL and LA are way different. If you can, visit to get the "feel" of the school. If not do as much research as you can and take whatever you think will give you the better experience and options that you want.

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nick637
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby nick637 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:50 pm

It can be a little scary for sure. I too will be living and attending in a city that will be the farthest away from home i have ever lived. I look at it as a major change that I have been preparing for for the past year. Now im just ready to get out of dodge

Im from Northern IN. Looking at schools in PA and Louisiana

mango26
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby mango26 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:54 pm

iShotFirst wrote:
mango26 wrote:This is probably a dumb question...but I don't really have anyone else to ask...

So unless I am miraculously admitted by one of the reaches I am still waiting to hear from I will be choosing between two regional schools. Over the 3 years the cost will only be about $15k difference. I know people on here always say when choosing between regional schools to go to the one in the place you can see yourself working and living in the future, but what if I don't know where I want to move??? I can see myself in both locations (Florida or LA).
I can't be the only person on here who is in a similar situation. So anyone who has made or is making a similar decision between regional schools how are you doing it? I'm just scared I'm going to make the wrong choice for the wrong reasons, etc.


Well in your case I would think about the differences between Florida and LA. These are VERY different places, and surely there is something that would make you lean more towards one rather than the other. Its not a question of "I really want Florida" or "I really want LA", I'd just research and hopefully visit the places and see which has whatever random thing that makes you feel more comfortable.

Another concern you might have is how powerful the school is in its region. The highest ranked school in Florida is 40s or 50s I believe, whereas California has many top top schools. So whichever Florida school it is might be better than the LA school. (For example U of Miami is probably better than Loyola LA as far as employment prospects).

I am in the same boat, with no ties to any specific area, but I already know certain things I want, type of weather etc. Surely you can find some factor like this that can make your choice easier.


For clarification, it's FSU and Loyola.
Ya, that was one thing I was worried about with Loyola is that there are so many good schools in the region to compete against.
California weather is better than FL weather in my opinion, but I like both. I have minimal ties to California since I have never lived there, except for a year when I was little. I have lived in Florida though, and have ties there, but I'm not sure if I want to move back.

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iShotFirst
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby iShotFirst » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:58 pm

mango26 wrote:For clarification, it's FSU and Loyola.
Ya, that was one thing I was worried about with Loyola is that there are so many good schools in the region to compete against.
California weather is better than FL weather in my opinion, but I like both. I have minimal ties to California since I have never lived there, except for a year when I was little. I have lived in Florida though, and have ties there, but I'm not sure if I want to move back.


FSU is stronger in Florida for sure, but the choice between those two schools open up for a great comparison between the cities IMO. Tallahassee is almost like the Deep South, LA is, well I haven't been there too many times but you get the picture. Career goals may come into play as well.

mango26
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby mango26 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:58 pm

crm wrote:
nick637 wrote:op, i am in a similar situation. Me being a little younger than most law students, i couldnt care less where I spend the next few years of my life. I am having to decide between three cities in three very different parts of the country. I think im just gonna follow the money



+1, scary thought too since I have never lived more than 4 hours away from where I grew up and now I am picking up and probably moving clear across the country...I'd have to say I'm going to follow the money too. Good luck on your decision, like the post above FL and LA are way different. If you can, visit to get the "feel" of the school. If not do as much research as you can and take whatever you think will give you the better experience and options that you want.


thank you all for you advice. i have visited FSU and loved it. will be visiting Loyola in April sometime. hopefully it will be clearer after i visit both places.
i'm not afraid of moving far away or anything (i've moved more than 15 times). i think i am just being more paranoid about this move since i have not been very happy where i have been living the past four years.

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cariberry
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby cariberry » Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:37 pm

I have to face something very similar, but I'm comforting myself with the thought that if I get to a school, stay for a year, and don't like the area, I have the possibility of transferring somewhere else.

I'm just so ready for a change of locale that I can't wait to move far away :)

JOThompson
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby JOThompson » Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:41 pm

If you can spare the time and money, travel to each school/region. I can't emphasize that strongly enough. A few weeks of visiting and exploring helped me greatly narrow down my choices.

Tuyarp
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby Tuyarp » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:28 pm

Let's look at the two schools through different perspectives.

Financially:

COA @ Loyola comes out to ~$204,000 for 3 years w/o any schollys.
COA @ FSU comes out to ~$144,000 assuming you can't get reclassified as a FL resident and w/o any schollys. ~$110,000 if you can get reclassified after 1L and w/o any schollys.

I assume you received a scholly from Loyola since you mentioned that the difference is much smaller. Does your scholly come with a GPA stipulation?

Comparison between LA and Tallahassee:

In my opinion, LA is one of the best cities in the world. It has one of the best climates anywhere (if you like your weather in the 70s and relatively dry), a lot of cultures and sub-cultures to explore, and entertainment options are practically limitless. With that said, however, LA's notorious traffic can become very annoying. Furthermore, almost everything will be more expensive in LA than Tallahassee. Lastly, if you wanted to stay in California after law school, you'd have to pay state income tax.

In my opinion, Tallahassee is a small city with a college town feel. Contrary to South Florida, Tallahassee gets four seasons. I will have to disagree with another poster regarding Tallahassee being in the Deep South. At least politically, Tallahassee isn't the Deep South; it actually is one of the few cities in the South with a history of liberal activism. The city is overwhelmingly Democratic with a high voter turnout (could be bad if you're a conservative). The options will be much more limited than LA as far as entertainment is concerned, but I think they are enough to satisfy any law students since most won't have much free time anyway.

Employment:

Loyola is the 5th best school in the LA area, in my opinion. Its graduates will have to compete with grads from Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, and USC in LA. Loyola placed 25 out of 376 class of '08 grads in government positions (which I think is what you're interested in).

In my opinion, FSU and UF are the best schools in Florida. Their grads can compete anywhere statewide, assuming all else are equal. Thus, if you're interested in working for the federal government in Florida, you can look at Jacksonville, Tampa, and Miami since bigger federal agencies have offices in those cities. FSU and UF's top grads have been known to get jobs in both Atlanta and DC as well (but this is highly unlikely ITE). If you're interested in landing a position with the Florida state government, I think FSU's location is a big plus.

Other things to consider:

Class size - Loyola's class size is bigger than FSU's. I think you said you prefer a smaller class size in another thread.
The Bar Exam - California's Bar Exam is notoriously difficult.

I agree with the other posters that you'll need to visit Loyola to get a feel for it, but I don't see a wrong decision between the two choices. If I were you, I'd pick where I could be happy for the next three years.

Best of luck.

mango26
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby mango26 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:43 pm

Tuyarp, thank you for your reply.
Yes, the Loyola scholarship has a top 30% requirement, which is kind of scary.

LA definitely has its positives and negatives. I would love to live in a bigger city, but on a law school student budget it would probably not be that great, haha or at least on what my budget will be.

I really do like that FSU's class size is so small. And I like the school's location in relation to state gov't, etc.

Now if only I could figure out where I would be happier...I think at this point I'm leaning towards FSU. It's funny though because if you would have told me that is where I would end up going to law school, I would have never believed you. Guess that's how life is though. haha

Tuyarp
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby Tuyarp » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:45 pm

mango26 wrote: It's funny though because if you would have told me [strike]that is[/strike] where I would end up going to law school, I would have never believed you. Guess that's how life is though. haha


Yup, that's how I feel in the beginning of the cycle, too.

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philosoraptor
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby philosoraptor » Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:50 pm

Tuyarp wrote:In my opinion, Tallahassee is a small city with a college town feel. Contrary to South Florida, Tallahassee gets four seasons. I will have to disagree with another poster regarding Tallahassee being in the Deep South. At least politically, Tallahassee isn't the Deep South; it actually is one of the few cities in the South with a history of liberal activism. The city is overwhelmingly Democratic with a high voter turnout (could be bad if you're a conservative). The options will be much more limited than LA as far as entertainment is concerned, but I think they are enough to satisfy any law students since most won't have much free time anyway.

First sentence is spot-on, but it's easy to escape the "college-town feel" if that's not your thing. "Four seasons" is definitely relative -- it freezes maybe two weeks during the winter but never snows or gets unbearably cold. As for the Deep South characterization, Tallahassee's the best of both worlds: a slight but noticeable liberal bent (given the highly educated population) but full of traditional, friendly Southerners.

With entertainment, it's true that North Florida doesn't get as many big-name music acts passing through as L.A., but there's a solid local scene, and if you're looking for more "highbrow" entertainment, FSU has the biggest and best music and theater schools in the South. Cheap/free, awesome, and close to campus. If you're into nature, look up St. Marks national wildlife refuge or Apalachicola national forest. The coastal areas due south, in my experience, are beautiful and peaceful. FSU athletics are amazing across the board and tend to be a strong focal point for the city. (Wow, this is really making me wish I were back home...)

Flanker1067
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby Flanker1067 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:27 pm

I think this issue was settled when you told us that scholarship stipulation from Loyola. Top 30% is tough, and if you lose it you paying a shit ton more for a school that is basically a toss up with another option for you.

Add: Also, go to the school I would prefer anyhow :)

Tuyarp
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby Tuyarp » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:33 pm

Philosoraptor, out of curiosity, why didn't you apply to FSU? You can PM, if you'd like.

mango26
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Re: What if I don't know where I want to be?

Postby mango26 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:14 am

Flanker1067 wrote:I think this issue was settled when you told us that scholarship stipulation from Loyola. Top 30% is tough, and if you lose it you paying a shit ton more for a school that is basically a toss up with another option for you.

Add: Also, go to the school I would prefer anyhow :)


ya, losing the scholarship is definitely the thing that scares me about loyola. that, and the la traffic.




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