Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

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unxemotional
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Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby unxemotional » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:34 pm

So, here's the story. I'm from Florida, attended the University of Florida as undergrad. I applied to three law schools in Florida: UF, FSU, and Stetson. Only got into Stetson for sure. (Was waitlisted by UF, put on hold by FSU) I don't really want to go to FSU, even if I do get in.

I also got accepted to Lewis & Clark. I've never been to Portland, but have heard great things about the city.

I have an interest in environmental law, but I'm not really certain that I want to pursue that, I'm pretty open-minded, I may decide I want to pursue another field of law(but not big business or anything like that).

I do eventually want to return to the Florida Keys where I'm from, but wouldn't mind leaving the state. My mom's a secretary, she has a lot of connections in South Florida with attorneys in Miami and the Keys and I know a lot of them as well, I pretty much grew up in law offices.

Stetson offered me 10k/year with a certain GPA requirement, that I will find when I get home.
Lewis & Clark didn't offer me anything.

WHAT DO I DO? Thoughts, comments, suggestions.

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Lomax
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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Lomax » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:22 am

Go to UF if you get in off the waitlist. Try to stay on the waitlist for as long as possible. Go to FSU if you get in there but not at UF, whether you want to or not. You're supposed to be un(x)emotional - act like it. Law school is a painful investment, not a vacation. If you are too stupid to get over your unfounded misgivings, or if you don't get into FSU, then go to Stetson. You haven't even been to Portland (a city much, much different than any in Florida), and a degree from Lewis & Clark won't get you a job outside of Portland and the surrounding area in anything other than environmental law. You're not sure about environmental law, so you can't make that a deciding factor. Stetson will keep you close to the support you have at home and in familiar territory, and shouldn't cost as much. Plus it is much more likely to help get you a job and build connections within Florida (though more around Tampa than in South Florida and the Keys). I've lived in both South Florida and Portland, by the way. Portland has lovely summers, and a nice variation of terrain, but is quite cold and rainy most of the year. It is also a very expensive place to live. All in all, definitely not for everyone. I like Florida better. I had an offer of almost a full ride from Lewis & Clark and turned it down to go to UF.

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Grizz
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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Grizz » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:45 am

You don't seem like you really want to go to Portland. Lewis and Clark and Stetson, even with scholarship, are not worth the price. Though you have some great connections, the market in FL is terrible. Ride the UF and FSU waitlists as long as you can. Don't let emotions get in the way of going to FSU. Your job prospects will improve greatly if you go to UF or FSU. Consider retaking the LSAT and reapplying.

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Lomax
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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Lomax » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:10 am

rad law wrote:You don't seem like you really want to go to Portland. Lewis and Clark and Stetson, even with scholarship, are not worth the price. Though you have some great connections, the market in FL is terrible. Ride the UF and FSU waitlists as long as you can. Don't let emotions get in the way of going to FSU. Your job prospects will improve greatly if you go to UF or FSU. Consider retaking the LSAT and reapplying.


Had unxemotional included that as an option, then I too would probably have recommended it. However, were he/she to do that, he/she would have to be confident of his/her ability to improve his/her score, given that he/she has a scholarship offer on the table. I don't agree with you about Stetson not being better than nothing, especially in this case, given that unxemotional has lots of connections in the South Florida legal community already and could very possibly get a job with any law degree, even in this economy (or, hopefully, one slightly better). Stetson is the 4th best school in Florida, which is actually saying something. It isn't so poorly respected, especially not in Florida, and is nationally recognized for its litigation programs.

yellowfin
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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby yellowfin » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:33 am

If you go to Lewis & Clark, you'll have to work a little harder to get a job in Florida than grads from UF, FSU, or Stetson. But you have contacts with attorneys in Florida, so it may be a little easier. The positive side of Lewis & Clark is that you get to see a different part of the country -- quite a good thing, I think. Portland is a great city and Oregon is cool too. Mount Hood is visible from downtown Portland. Yes, L&C's environmental program is tops, but their other programs are good too. Bottom line, you can get a good education at Lewis & Clark and you get to see another part of the country. Is that worth 35k+ a year? Personally I'd think really hard about that... and probably get squeamish about taking on the debt.

Stetson allows you to stay instate, network with your classmates, and have an alum network. I can't imagine L&C has a big network outside of the Pacific northwest and maybe San Francisco and DC. Scholarship money at Stetson is huge too (like I said, I think debt is bad).

And if you don't want to go to FSU, don't go. You won't be happy doing something you don't want to do, especially for 3 years. But also think about whether you'd regret not going to FSU were you to get in. Make sure you take that into consideration.

Stay on the waitlists at UF and FSU as long as possible. There is no reason to limit your choices. Make what feels like the best decision between Lewis & Clark and Stetson. If you hate Lewis & Clark or Portland, you can always transfer back to Florida (assuming your grades are decent).

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Lomax
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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Lomax » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:14 am

yellowfin wrote:If you go to Lewis & Clark, you'll have to work a little harder to get a job in Florida than grads from UF, FSU, or Stetson. But you have contacts with attorneys in Florida, so it may be a little easier. The positive side of Lewis & Clark is that you get to see a different part of the country -- quite a good thing, I think. Portland is a great city and Oregon is cool too. Mount Hood is visible from downtown Portland. Yes, L&C's environmental program is tops, but their other programs are good too. Bottom line, you can get a good education at Lewis & Clark and you get to see another part of the country. Is that worth 35k+ a year? Personally I'd think really hard about that... and probably get squeamish about taking on the debt.

Stetson allows you to stay instate, network with your classmates, and have an alum network. I can't imagine L&C has a big network outside of the Pacific northwest and maybe San Francisco and DC. Scholarship money at Stetson is huge too (like I said, I think debt is bad).

And if you don't want to go to FSU, don't go. You won't be happy doing something you don't want to do, especially for 3 years. But also think about whether you'd regret not going to FSU were you to get in. Make sure you take that into consideration.

Stay on the waitlists at UF and FSU as long as possible. There is no reason to limit your choices. Make what feels like the best decision between Lewis & Clark and Stetson. If you hate Lewis & Clark or Portland, you can always transfer back to Florida (assuming your grades are decent).


Move to strike. I'm sorry, but this is, by and large, terrible advice, and I feel it necessary to identify it as such.

The approach that yellowfin takes is the one I originally warned unxemotional from taking - that is, thinking of law school as a vacation rather than an investment. Just think about the absurdity of that. Law school, a vacation. Choose which one you attend based on the vistas and surroundings. It all comes down to palm trees versus Mount Hood. Oh, one might also consider cost of attendance, too, but that's not the main thing... Getting to see another part of the country is (never mind that one weekend-long trip can take care of that just as well). Enjoying yourself as best as you can for the next three years is. Of course. Why should anyone's main objective in law school be to set oneself up for future success, when there is now to worry about?

And hey, you can just float from one school to another if you feel the need to - it's a vacation, remember? Maybe you can even transfer to Florida in the winter and then back to Oregon in the spring - best of both worlds! Or you could even see the Northeast and transfer to Harvard!

But you know, that's what makes it great, Johnny. We can exist on a different plane, we can make our own rules. Why be a servant to the law, when you can be its master?

yellowfin
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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby yellowfin » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:42 am

Lomax wrote:Move to strike. I'm sorry, but this is, by and large, terrible advice, and I feel it necessary to identify it as such.

The approach that yellowfin takes is the one I originally warned unxemotional from taking - that is, thinking of law school as a vacation rather than an investment. Just think about the absurdity of that. Law school, a vacation. Choose which one you attend based on the vistas and surroundings. It all comes down to palm trees versus Mount Hood. Oh, one might also consider cost of attendance, too, but that's not the main thing... Getting to see another part of the country is (never mind that one weekend-long trip can take care of that just as well). Enjoying yourself as best as you can for the next three years is. Of course. Why should anyone's main objective in law school be to set oneself up for future success, when there is now to worry about?

And hey, you can just float from one school to another if you feel the need to - it's a vacation, remember? Maybe you can even transfer to Florida in the winter and then back to Oregon in the spring - best of both worlds! Or you could even see the Northeast and transfer to Harvard!

But you know, that's what makes it great, Johnny. We can exist on a different plane, we can make our own rules. Why be a servant to the law, when you can be its master?


You're looking at this way too black and white for my tastes. Vacation vs investment. Happiness for 3 years vs future success. Servant vs master. Can't there be a middle ground? I think so.

We all know law school isn't vacation, but that doesn't mean the experience can't be fun. I don't think there's anything wrong with my advice and I stand by it. I wouldn't suggest OP go to L&C if s/he had no interest in L&C or in Portland, but if s/he does for whatever reason, I'd say consider it. Law school can be 3 years of living and experiencing somewhere else. It's much harder to move to, say, Portland when you have a job, career, SO, family, house, etc.

All I'm saying is do what you want to do. We're talking about people here, not strictly investments. Happiness should be a huge part of the calculation. Not all of the equation, because law school is an investment too. But OP can get a good education and have a good career from any of the schools s/he's suggested. So go have fun. Work hard (which you will, it's law school no matter where you go), but have fun and do what you want to do, not what other people think is the "right" thing to do. If you do what other's want, one day you may regret not making your own choices. Speaking solely for myself, I work harder when I'm in a situation I enjoy, meaning my investment in education is greater in a situation I enjoy.

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Lomax
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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Lomax » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:29 am

yellowfin wrote:You're looking at this way too black and white for my tastes. Vacation vs investment. Happiness for 3 years vs future success. Servant vs master. Can't there be a middle ground? I think so.

We all know law school isn't vacation, but that doesn't mean the experience can't be fun. I don't think there's anything wrong with my advice and I stand by it. I wouldn't suggest OP go to L&C if s/he had no interest in L&C or in Portland, but if s/he does for whatever reason, I'd say consider it. Law school can be 3 years of living and experiencing somewhere else. It's much harder to move to, say, Portland when you have a job, career, SO, family, house, etc.

All I'm saying is do what you want to do. We're talking about people here, not strictly investments. Happiness should be a huge part of the calculation. Not all of the equation, because law school is an investment too. But OP can get a good education and have a good career from any of the schools s/he's suggested. So go have fun. Work hard (which you will, it's law school no matter where you go), but have fun and do what you want to do, not what other people think is the "right" thing to do. If you do what other's want, one day you may regret not making your own choices. Speaking solely for myself, I work harder when I'm in a situation I enjoy, meaning my investment in education is greater in a situation I enjoy.


Your tastes are too whacked for your own good, let alone for you to be considered a qualified taste-tester. No, there cannot be a middle ground, except for in those cases in which the two schools being chosen between are deadlocked based on an objective analysis of how much each would do for one's career prospects.

OP should only be considering how well each school gets OP to where OP wants to be after graduating from school, unless OP doesn't plan on living very long (in which case OP shouldn't be going to law school at all). OP wants to live in Florida long-term, not in Oregon. Lewis & Clark does nothing for OP's job prospects in Florida, and costs more than any other school that OP is considering. For you to recommend Lewis & Clark, especially given that OP has not even been to Portland and hasn't shown any interest in Portland, is criminal. I suppose that this bit, showing your bias gathered from what was probably a few-day visit to Portland, has something to do with it:

yellowfin, on the Lewis & Clark thread wrote:Definitely liked the law school. Totally sold on Portland.


The time to live in an interesting place temporarily has passed for OP, and probably for you as well. Where you go for UG doesn't matter. Where you go for law school does. You don't seem to fully grasp that, but you should. So should OP.

Law school can be fun, but fun in law school should come not 2nd, not 3rd, not 4th, not even 5th or 6th in terms of priority. If you think otherwise, then you're not taking it seriously enough. We are talking about driven people here - ones investing tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars, on top of three years of intensive labor, in order to lay a foundation on which to build a career of the most challenging and demanding variety. And if I'm not being accurate with that description, then we're talking about people wasting a hell of a lot of time and money who are doomed to fail. Happiness should be a huge part of the equation - cumulative happiness, mostly coming after graduation. Happiness in law school should factor in hardly at all. Wherever one goes to law school, recreational opportunities should be relatively few and far between, and will generally not involve making great use of the unique features of the surrounding region.

OP came here for advice because he/she doesn't know what to do. The fact that you can't recognize that and are, in the end, simply recommending that OP "have fun and do what [he/she wants] to do" highlights your lack of reasoning ability. I hate to attack you on a personal level as such, but I feel it necessary to do so in order to make clear your lack of qualification as an advisor.

As for the underlined, which is really the only good point you've brought up - it may be that some people would benefit performance-wise from being in a more pleasant environment. But look at this case. Here we have OP, who has never been to Portland, does not like Tallahassee, and is probably reasonably fond of Tampa. Let's assume that he behaves like you. Even now, we can't be sure that he will be better off at any one of the schools - Lewis & Clark, FSU, and Stetson - than at either of the others. There is the issue of the objective merits of one school overriding the performance-boost benefits of another. Moreover, we can't be sure that OP won't radically change his mind about any one city once he lives there, and we don't have a clue as to how OP would like each law school. Given that we have nothing the least bit concrete to go on that would lead us to justifiably choose a school based on enjoyability, we are left with making a decision based on the criteria I previously outlined.

yellowfin
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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby yellowfin » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:17 pm

yellowfin wrote:Vacation vs investment. Happiness for 3 years vs future success. Servant vs master. Can't there be a middle ground?
Lomax wrote:No, there cannot be a middle ground
Lomax wrote:Lewis & Clark does nothing for OP's job prospects in Florida, and costs more than any other school that OP is considering. For you to recommend Lewis & Clark, especially given that OP has not even been to Portland and hasn't shown any interest in Portland, is criminal.
You're right, L&C does nothing (other that award a decent JD) for job prospects in Florida. But I do not think it is an insurmountable challenge. People move around with JDs from regional schools all the time. And yes, L&C costs more, which I noted earlier. I have not advocated OP to enroll at L&C. All I suggested, and continue to suggest, is that the decision must be made on more than strictly an "investment" analysis. True, OP has not shown much of an interest in Portland. Besides applying to law school there. And bringing it up here. She hasn't discussed Portland much, but not everybody pours their heart out on internet forums. If she goes to law school in Portland merely because she read one person's opinion on the internet... well, God help her.

As far as "making great use of the unique features of the surrounding region," are you suggesting that law students in Florida never go to the beach? Or that law students in Oregon never go skiing? (Assuming, of course, they can ski or lay on the beach.)

Regarding my "lack of qualification as an advisor," are you basing that on the fact that I'm not offering your advice? To my understanding, we're both in the same position... soon to be 1Ls and no more qualified than OP.

And my impression of Portland, which you so nicely poached from another thread, was based largely on a few-day visit, although I had been to Portland before. FYI, I'm likely not enrolling at L&C next fall, despite the fact that I'm totally sold on Portland.

OP probably understands all the advantages and disadvantages of the given schools. OP would have to be a very adventurous person to enroll at L&C sight-unseen, and she probably knows what kind of person she is.

One final note on L&C for the OP: it has a very liberal student population (think significant vegan options at lunch) and it's in a very progressive city. You can take the final shot, Lomax.

unxemotional
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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby unxemotional » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:50 pm

Thanks for all the input.

Lomax, I'm a she, not a he. I also disagree somewhat with you. It seems your idea of law school is very black and white, like yellowfin mentioned. I don't want to be miserable for the next three years, and although money is important (in terms of debt) I don't think it is everything.

I actually do feel strongly about both Portland and St. Pete. I didn't hate St. Pete when I visited, it's close to the beach and the campus is beautiful. But, I didn't fall in LOVE with it either. Portland seems like a place I'd really fit in. I'm a liberal person, very into health and fitness, all for "green" cities. That is one of the things that appeals to me about Portland, as well as L&C.

I'm definitely not retaking the LSAT. This is a done deal. I don't want to go back to Gainesville. At all.

I applied to 11 other schools: Boston U., Boston College, Northeastern, New England Law, Loyola (Chicago), Depaul, U of Maine, the Florida schools I already mentioned, L&C, and Seattle U.

Got into all except BU, BC, FSU, UF.

Still stuck on Stetson or L&C. I could use a change, I promised myself that I'd go to college out of state and then ended up staying in-state because of the cheaper cost. Wasn't really too happy in Gainesville, but did well enough. Graduated in 3 years instead of 4 to get out of Gainesville.

Also, I looked up the GPA requirement for Stetson's scholarship. I would have to maintain a 2.0, which I HOPE will not be an issue (if it is, I'm screwed).

More input please?

yellowfin
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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby yellowfin » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:27 pm

Send Lewis & Clark a letter asking them to reconsider merit aid. They already offered all their money this year, but as people decline their offers, money will free up. You probably didn't have a lot of leverage in terms of acceptances/scholarships to higher ranked schools, so tell them how you're debt adverse but also want to go there. And tell them about your scholarship to Stetson.

I sent L&C a letter like this and they said they'd get back to me by late April. They extended my decision deadline to May 2. This means I will likely pay the deposit at another school. If L&C comes back with an offer I feel like I can't refuse, then I'm out 200 bucks at the other school. No biggie. It's awkward to ask for more money, but it doesn't have to come off as being snotty if you're honest with them. And if you pay the deposit at Stetson just in case L&C doesn't come back with anything, but then you really aren't comfortable with the idea of going to Stetson, you can still choose L&C.

Debt isn't a trivial thing, but regret isn't a trivial thing either. If you're going to regret staying in Florida for the rest of your life, then don't stay in Florida. The country is a huge place with tons of variety, and although it's cool to travel around the country, traveling somewhere is not the same as living somewhere. You might really love Portland and want to stay there to practice for a few years. You might not love it, but then at least you know.

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Grizz
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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Grizz » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:48 pm

OP, a lot of this comes down to where you want to live. If you want to leave FL, you need to go to L&C, even though I would caution against that, because at sticker, it's an incredibly bad investment . You say you want to come back to FL "eventually," but eventually might not be for many many years (even considering your connections) until you get some substantive work experience. You possibly will have settled down and may even have a family by then, to speak nothing of your client base and your Oregon networking. It quite possibly might be too much to pick up your whole life and move to FL. If you go to L&C, you may have to be cool with just staying in Portland. Even so, with a massive debt load, you will have an incredibly difficult road.

The problem is, as other posters have said, the L&C degree isn't gonna help you at all in FL. There are 64 total alums in all of Florida. In fact, I know a few lawyers who probably couldn't tell you where L&C is. UF is the clear top dog here, with FSU and Miami close behind. Stetson is decent for Tampa, but UF and FSU grads will largely get hired before you, and in south FL, UF and Miami and FSU grads will get hired before you.

You know a bunch of lawyers. This is great. So do a lot of people, unfortunately. However, you don't know what might pan out with these connections three years down the road. It could be great; you could get a great job right way. However, the market is getting slaughtered. UF and FSU grads are suffering, even those closer to the top of the class, but especially Stetson grads. In Tampa/St. Pete, the primary market for Stetson, jobs that a lot of Stetson grads used to get (State Attorney's office, City Attorney's office) go to kids who went to UF/FSU or simply aren't there any more. Connections are great for getting your foot in the door, and in a better economy, I'd be more confident, but this simply isn't the time. Going to Stetson is a big risk.

Even with $10k, Stetson is gonna put you in sizable debt. I urge you to retake. This is a smart decision financially and careerwise. But you don't want to. In that case, go to Stetson. That way, at least of you can't get a good legal job - or a legal job at all - you will at least be in less debt. Ride the UF and FSU waitlists all the way out until classes start. Seriously. They are much cheaper and much more respected. I know you don't want to go to Tally, but I bet you could put up with 3 years for better career prospects overall.

Good luck.

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Lomax
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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Lomax » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:14 pm

yellowfin wrote:
yellowfin wrote:Vacation vs investment. Happiness for 3 years vs future success. Servant vs master. Can't there be a middle ground?
Lomax wrote:No, there cannot be a middle ground
Lomax wrote:Lewis & Clark does nothing for OP's job prospects in Florida, and costs more than any other school that OP is considering. For you to recommend Lewis & Clark, especially given that OP has not even been to Portland and hasn't shown any interest in Portland, is criminal.
You're right, L&C does nothing (other that award a decent JD) for job prospects in Florida. But I do not think it is an insurmountable challenge. People move around with JDs from regional schools all the time. And yes, L&C costs more, which I noted earlier. I have not advocated OP to enroll at L&C. All I suggested, and continue to suggest, is that the decision must be made on more than strictly an "investment" analysis. True, OP has not shown much of an interest in Portland. Besides applying to law school there. And bringing it up here. She hasn't discussed Portland much, but not everybody pours their heart out on internet forums. If she goes to law school in Portland merely because she read one person's opinion on the internet... well, God help her.

As far as "making great use of the unique features of the surrounding region," are you suggesting that law students in Florida never go to the beach? Or that law students in Oregon never go skiing? (Assuming, of course, they can ski or lay on the beach.)

Regarding my "lack of qualification as an advisor," are you basing that on the fact that I'm not offering your advice? To my understanding, we're both in the same position... soon to be 1Ls and no more qualified than OP.

And my impression of Portland, which you so nicely poached from another thread, was based largely on a few-day visit, although I had been to Portland before. FYI, I'm likely not enrolling at L&C next fall, despite the fact that I'm totally sold on Portland.

OP probably understands all the advantages and disadvantages of the given schools. OP would have to be a very adventurous person to enroll at L&C sight-unseen, and she probably knows what kind of person she is.

One final note on L&C for the OP: it has a very liberal student population (think significant vegan options at lunch) and it's in a very progressive city. You can take the final shot, Lomax.


First, another criminal act on your part - clipping a sentence of mine in half and quoting only the half that serves your purposes, thereby taking it out of context. Pathetic.

Now, to address your comments point-by-point.

Your granting that L&C does nothing for OP's job prospects other than provide her with a JD (given that OP has a stated desire to practice in Florida) goes to show just how blurred your vision of the big picture is. Accepting that, OP would do just as well to go to school anywhere, assuming no great difference in quality of education. Having that mindset, you would have OP pick her favorite vacation spot first, and then, if you were sensible, recommend the cheapest school there. I acknowledged that other factors should be taken into consideration when an objective analysis leads to stalemate - if you had kept that sentence that you quoted only half of intact, then that would be more obvious. But given that law school is, from the start, primarily an investment, the choice of law school should be made with idea foremost in mind.

I am suggesting that law students in Florida don't spend a lot of time at the beach. I am suggesting that law students in Oregon don't spend a lot of time skiing. I am suggesting that law students anywhere in the country spend most of their time in class, at the library, at eating/drinking establishments, and at home - places that don't vary a great deal no matter where one goes to school. And please, read what I wrote - "making great use of the unique features of the surrounding region".

I am basing that on the fact that you have proven yourself unable to think logically and reasonably. For example, I'll bring this up again, since you seem to have missed it: OP came here for advice because he/she doesn't know what to do. The fact that you failed to recognize that and, in the end, simply recommended that OP "have fun and do what [he/she wants] to do" highlights your lack of reasoning ability. Get it? OP doesn't know what she wants to do, and you simply recommend that OP do what she wants to do. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it?

There you go. Unfounded bias. You are hardly qualified to be raving about Portland after visiting for a few days, and that's exactly what you've been doing.

OP obviously doesn't fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of the given schools, given that she has come here, seemingly very unsure, asking, "WHAT DO I DO?" OP would have to be a very shortsighted gambler to enroll at L&C. I suppose you would say to someone about to throw $120,000 down on a horse race, "X would have to be a very adventurous person to gamble on his/her future, and he/she probably knows what kind of person he/she is."

L&C does have a very liberal student population. Why not go all the way and join a commune? If you take your $120,000 and do that, you might never need a law degree, and you'll be on an eternal vacation rather than a 3-year-long one.

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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Lomax » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:39 pm

unxemotional wrote:Thanks for all the input.

Lomax, I'm a she, not a he. I also disagree somewhat with you. It seems your idea of law school is very black and white, like yellowfin mentioned. I don't want to be miserable for the next three years, and although money is important (in terms of debt) I don't think it is everything.

I actually do feel strongly about both Portland and St. Pete. I didn't hate St. Pete when I visited, it's close to the beach and the campus is beautiful. But, I didn't fall in LOVE with it either. Portland seems like a place I'd really fit in. I'm a liberal person, very into health and fitness, all for "green" cities. That is one of the things that appeals to me about Portland, as well as L&C.

I'm definitely not retaking the LSAT. This is a done deal. I don't want to go back to Gainesville. At all.

I applied to 11 other schools: Boston U., Boston College, Northeastern, New England Law, Loyola (Chicago), Depaul, U of Maine, the Florida schools I already mentioned, L&C, and Seattle U.

Got into all except BU, BC, FSU, UF.

Still stuck on Stetson or L&C. I could use a change, I promised myself that I'd go to college out of state and then ended up staying in-state because of the cheaper cost. Wasn't really too happy in Gainesville, but did well enough. Graduated in 3 years instead of 4 to get out of Gainesville.

Also, I looked up the GPA requirement for Stetson's scholarship. I would have to maintain a 2.0, which I HOPE will not be an issue (if it is, I'm screwed).

More input please?


My idea of law school is "black and white" - I'm going to law school to set myself up to become a successful lawyer in Florida. Is your idea of it any different? If so, how so? Wait, let me guess - you're going to law school to become a successful lawyer in Florida, but you want to have lots of FUN while you're there! :mrgreen: ... :roll: One big problem with that - the law school that will best set you up to become a successful lawyer in Florida might not be the one you think will be the most fun (emphasis on "think" - you don't know, like I said, that you will enjoy any one school and/or city any more than any other - even if you feel strongly about one or another now).

So you didn't fall in LOVE with Stetson and St. Pete. What do want? Last I checked, there isn't an ABA-accredited Tahiti College of Law. You might have to wait for your honeymoon to find paradise. Portland is a green city, but it's also a world away from Florida. It is cold and rainy much of the year. Try jogging around in wind, drizzle, and 45 degrees. Then remember how Florida around then. Sunny and 75. Even if Lewis & Clark has more of them, there are liberals just about everywhere; I would be shocked if Stetson proves to be an exception.

Like I said, UG was the time for a change in scenery - one that would have little impact on your future, anyway. You missed your opportunity. A change in scenery now will likely mean great, unnecessary hardship and/or a change in scenery forever. For you to make such a big decision without even fully understanding what you're getting into (without visiting Portland, without doing a thorough analysis of how your decision might affect your job prospects, etc.) would be truly idiotic.

Perhaps you should consider accepting Stetson's offer, then setting aside $10,000 of the cost difference between Stetson and Lewis & Clark to go on a world tour over this coming summer (the one before law school - your last summer of freedom). How awesome would that be? And talk about a change of scenery... You might not ever again have another opportunity to do something like that, given what your time commitments will be in the future. Of course, you might not have the cash on hand to do that now.

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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby unxemotional » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:31 pm

Lomax, I'd appreciate it if you'd take the negativity and sarcasm elsewhere.

I started this thread for constructive feedback/criticism. Not just criticism. I want a productive conversation, if anyone else has any comments please feel free to post.

I have thought long and hard about my decisions. I applied to law school in October, so I had plenty of time to think and talk with other individuals. I've spoken to tons of lawyers, all fairly young, and all their advice has been helpful. Keep 'em coming.

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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Grizz » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:04 pm

unxemotional wrote:Lomax, I'd appreciate it if you'd take the negativity and sarcasm elsewhere.

I started this thread for constructive feedback/criticism. Not just criticism. I want a productive conversation, if anyone else has any comments please feel free to post.

I have thought long and hard about my decisions. I applied to law school in October, so I had plenty of time to think and talk with other individuals. I've spoken to tons of lawyers, all fairly young, and all their advice has been helpful. Keep 'em coming.


I just think that Lomax is afraid, as am I, that you are giving too much weight to quality of life, when the breakdown should be more like 65% what kind of job can I get, 30% how much debt will I be in, and 5% quality of life. My post ore pretty gloomy because this one of the make-it or break-it moments of your entire career; where you go will drastically impact where you end up and what kind of job you get after.

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Jerome
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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Jerome » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:22 pm

unxemotional wrote:Lomax, I'd appreciate it if you'd take the negativity and sarcasm elsewhere.

I started this thread for constructive feedback/criticism. Not just criticism. I want a productive conversation, if anyone else has any comments please feel free to post.

I have thought long and hard about my decisions. I applied to law school in October, so I had plenty of time to think and talk with other individuals. I've spoken to tons of lawyers, all fairly young, and all their advice has been helpful. Keep 'em coming.

I can only speak to LC. I was an undergrad there, know some students, know some of the professors, know some local attorneys, and had the privilege of taking a couple of classes at the law school. I do not pretend to know anything about the school's portability into FL, although I imagine that it is minimal, barring excellent performance at LC in environmental law (even then, I am unsure about its portability). You mentioned that you want to return to FL at "some point." If that is 10, 15, or 20 years down the line, I don't see how an LC degree alone would prevent you from doing that.

Portland is a gorgeous city, yet if you can't stand clouds, rain, and hippies, it may not be a good choice. It is rainy. It is cloudy. But it is a very livable city, with great food, beer, parks, and people. I, for one, will move back at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later. Admittedly, you wont have tons of time during law school to enjoy everything the city has to offer. That written, you will have time (and a need, on occasion) to leave the campus (at LC "the hill," or, more pejoratively, "the LC bubble") and go to a show at The Alladin or Doug Fir, grab a beer at HUB or Rogue, or head up to Mt. Hood (OK, you're from FL, maybe not). In almost every respect, Potrland is a great city. The legal market is not huge, but there is plenty of respect for LC grads. You note that you do not want to practice in "big business," so I assume that maybe PI is possibility. If so, it is worth knowing that a number of LC faculty work in public interest capacities throughout the city, and will be valuable resources.

The caliber of student at LC, and I assume at all law schools outside the best, varies. I took election law (with an excellent hard-ass professor) and the students in that class were all 2L's and 3L's (and three of us pissant UGs). 1/3 of the law students were pretty pitiful. Most of the rest were good, but not great. The final 4 or so were very impressive. I do not know how representative that is of the whole school - I also took an environmental law course, and the students were mostly impressive, with a few who were, well, not.

If FL is your final, and most important goal, I doubt LC is the best choice. Just beware the echo-chamber effect of 0L TLS'ers. We are not law students, grads, lawyers, or HR managers at firms. We fundamentally do not know much about the prospects of jobs from each school beyond conventional wisdom, anecdotes, limited personal experience, and statistics (lies, damned lies, etc.). I believe LC to be an above-average school. If you have better choices near, or in, FL, I may take them.

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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Snowdrifter » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:39 pm

Jerome wrote:If FL is your final, and most important goal, I doubt LC is the best choice. Just beware the echo-chamber effect of 0L TLS'ers. We are not law students, grads, lawyers, or HR managers at firms. We fundamentally do not know much about the prospects of jobs from each school beyond conventional wisdom, anecdotes, limited personal experience, and statistics (lies, damned lies, etc.). I believe LC to be an above-average school. If you have better choices near, or in, FL, I may take them.


This x 1000!

It's important to note that 0L's are not a knowledgeable resource on things like the legal market, what firms are looking for, where they hire from, etc. Our information is, by nature, anecdotal. Said another way - you are just as well served asking your friends in law school about the process, and since they know you better as a person, are probably more likely to provide helpful information on what schools or areas you would excel at.

Also, pretty much all of these 0L boards (LSD, TLS, etc) have a heavy pre-disposition towards negative commentary. If you DO ask these folk for question, bear in mind that they will spout universal affirmatives about how all non-T14 schools are a waste of money, and how you'll be unemployed if you don't attend the #1 school in a particular market.

There's a reason most in-school students laugh if you tell them about some tidbit of info you got from a 0L forum - it's because they're running around with jobs and externships after going to schools that a person like Lomax would tell them is a waste of money. ;)

Basically, don't let the negative nancies get you down if you really want to attend law school, and aim for the market you want to practice in. L&C is pretty far away from Florida, so if you're absolutely determined to practice in Florida, it's probably not your best option.

This is sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy, since I'm a 0L adding anecdotal evidence, but I've been told by several biglaw attorneys, and heard the same from others.... they don't memorize USNews rankings. I'll say it again - contrary to probably 80% of the active TLS community's popular opinion, biglaw attorneys couldn't tell you whether a given school was #60 or #90.

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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Grizz » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:09 pm

Snowdrifter wrote:It's important to note that 0L's are not a knowledgeable resource on things like the legal market, what firms are looking for, where they hire from, etc. Our information is, by nature, anecdotal. Said another way - you are just as well served asking your friends in law school about the process, and since they know you better as a person, are probably more likely to provide helpful information on what schools or areas you would excel at.

Basically, don't let the negative nancies get you down if you really want to attend law school, and aim for the market you want to practice in.


Of course these are anecdotes. No one here is an expert, including those in law school and many practicing lawyers. But we all share anecdotes about what we've seen and heard lately, because adcoms and lawyers don't post on these message boards. If you want facts and stats about hiring, clerkships, etc., aka not anecdotes, then they're published on the net, and there's not too many of them. Schools inflate hiring data for USNWR rankings, so anecdotes can be very helpful. If you come on these boards, you're gonna get anecdotes - or would you rather just get a page of links to hiring data and worthless law school self-reported data?

I may be an 0L, but I've lived in FL all my life, have worked in 2 law firms, and have 4 lawyers in my immediate family. I can't speak as well to the Portland market, but I know a bit about Tampa and FL, and when UF Law kids (I've talked to them) tell me that job prospects are horrible, or when big firms in the area deferred their '09 hires, I know it's getting bad.

Why do I think UF is tops in FL? Because after living there my whole life, people can't get enough of it, lawyers included. UF was the lowest ranked school I got into, and even after telling people I wasn't sure I wanted to be in FL after graduation, multiple lawyers still told me to go to UF. I got into Vandy, but the only lawyers who told me to go there were ones who weren't from FL.

Sure people in FL get great jobs from Stetson; this is a fact. But the more recent Stetson grads I know of have mediocre jobs, and I know that if they paid sticker with loans, they'd be struggling. How do I know that? Tuition posted on the Stetson website, and asking how much State Attorneys and City Attorneys make around here. I've asked a bunch of FL lawyers about this, and they all agreed that Stetson at anywhere near full tuition is a bad investment. That's why I say what I do.

I'm not gonna say non T-14s are a waste of money, but the commentary is negative because the legal situation is pretty bad out there. I'm not going to a T-14 next year. However, I know big firms have collapsed and laid off like never before, and this has had an unprecedented effect on all levels of the market.

To reiterate, I am not just pulling this out of this air. I am just one guy, and please do solicit other opinions, but this is what I have gathered from the research I've done, and I would like to share with other people to help with their decisions. Lastly, and most importantly, don't put your desire to attend law school over making a smart financial decision.

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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Jerome » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:25 pm

rad law wrote:I may be an 0L, but I've lived in FL all my life, have worked in 2 law firms, and have 4 lawyers in my immediate family. I can't speak as well to the Portland market, but I know a bit about Tampa and FL, and when UF Law kids (I've talked to them) tell me that job prospects are horrible, or when big firms in the area deferred their '09 hires, I know it's getting bad.


Sure people in FL get great jobs from Stetson; this is a fact. But the more recent Stetson grads I know of have mediocre jobs, and I know that if they paid sticker with loans, they'd be struggling. How do I know that? Tuition posted on the Stetson website, and asking how much State Attorneys and City Attorneys make around here. I've asked a bunch of FL lawyers about this, and they all agreed that Stetson at anywhere near full tuition is a bad investment. That's why I say what I do.


Not knowing FL at all, this seems to be about on par with what I've seen in Colorado and Oregon, and what I have heard about from trusted sources (family, friends, etc.) in California. Seems like as solid a basis for advice you are likely to get at TLS.

All I have to add, and it absolutely depends on your goals, is to consider LRAP availability and IBR. Law school is a HUGE and burdensome investment for the majority of students, so before taking it on, look at ways to mitigate its intensity.

As I don't know FL, all I can say is that an LC JD should suit you well enough for Oregon practice (maybe S. Washington, too).

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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Lomax » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:33 pm

unxemotional wrote:Lomax, I'd appreciate it if you'd take the negativity and sarcasm elsewhere.

I started this thread for constructive feedback/criticism. Not just criticism. I want a productive conversation, if anyone else has any comments please feel free to post.


You didn't start this thread for feedback/criticism (feedback/criticism on what?). You didn't even start this thread for advice (as is obvious from your unwillingness to hear reason). You started this thread in hopes of getting a bunch of people to tell you to go to Lewis & Clark.

How do I know?

You claim to be on the fence between Lewis & Clark and Stetson. I provided a most compelling multi-point argument for Stetson over Lewis & Clark and you completely rejected it. On the other hand, yellowfin provided a paper-thin argument based solely on quality of life concerns for Lewis & Clark over Stetson and you totally ate it up. On top of that, you wrote of having promised yourself a change of scenery, and having been dying to get out of Gainesville (which isn't too far from Stetson).

You want me to take the "negativity and sarcasm elsewhere" so that you can be seek and receive your justification for making an entirely unreasonable decision in peace.

rad law wrote:I just think that Lomax is afraid, as am I, that you are giving too much weight to quality of life, when the breakdown should be more like 65% what kind of job can I get, 30% how much debt will I be in, and 5% quality of life. My post ore pretty gloomy because this one of the make-it or break-it moments of your entire career; where you go will drastically impact where you end up and what kind of job you get after.


Very much so. Though it seems, at this point, inevitable that OP will realize our fears. At least now, when she finds herself stuck, heavily indebted, in a place she thought she might like when she looked at all those pretty pictures, she won't be able to say that she just didn't know any better.

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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Jerome » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:50 pm

Lomax wrote:You claim to be on the fence between Lewis & Clark and Stetson. I provided a most compelling multi-point argument for Stetson over Lewis & Clark and you completely rejected it. On the other hand, yellowfin provided a paper-thin argument based solely on quality of life concerns for Lewis & Clark over Stetson and you totally ate it up. On top of that, you wrote of having promised yourself a change of scenery, and having been dying to get out of Gainesville (which isn't too far from Stetson).

You want me to take the "negativity and sarcasm elsewhere" so that you can be seek and receive your justification for making an entirely unreasonable decision in peace.


I think you overstate the strength of you argument. Additionally, you went hostile as soon as a poster disagreed with you. I think that does a disservice both to the OP and to the TLS community more broadly.

It might serve you well to not react so heatedly over something that, at the end of the day, doesn't effect you.

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Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Stetson

Postby Lomax » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:21 pm

Jerome wrote:I think you overstate the strength of you argument.

Additionally, you went hostile as soon as a poster disagreed with you. I think that does a disservice both to the OP and to the TLS community more broadly.

It might serve you well to not react so heatedly over something that, at the end of the day, doesn't effect you.


I don't. Care to refute it, or at least briefly explain why you think me to be overstating its strength?

I "went hostile" as soon as a poster tried to pass utter nonsense (objectively speaking - not just in my opinion) off as legitimate and sound advice. Not exposing that garbage for what it was would have been doing a disservice both to the OP and to the TLS community more broadly, though unfortunately the OP here is an unreasonable person herself and was wanting and willing to accept and defend that garbage because it was what she wanted to hear. Needless to say, my attack on yellowfin did not, in this case, have the desired impact. In other cases it could well have. Here it should have. Should lurkers who find themselves in a similar situation as OP arrive at this thread, they might be well-served by my aggressive approach.

Thanks for the lecture, Jerome. :lol: Completely pointless, it was (just like much of my activity here, though I have had quite a few people PM me with their gratitude for my help), but I suppose it made you feel superior.




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