Can't Decide, please help

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

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Emory
32
74%
Miami
4
9%
FSU
7
16%
 
Total votes: 43

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whuts4lunch
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Can't Decide, please help

Postby whuts4lunch » Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:12 pm

I have deposit deadlines coming up and need to make moves. Here are my choices:

Emory with 60k scholarship (Tuition is currently 44k/year sticker)
FSU with 30k scholarship (Tuition 16k/year I believe, but may rise 15% for years 2 and 3)
Miami with 69k scholarship, but renewable for years 2 and 3 only if 3.2 GPA (top 3rd) maintained (Tuition currently 38k/year)

I do have some money saved up and am only taking out subsidized loans. FSU would almost surely leave me debt free. Miami will leave me debt free provided I maintain the 3.2. Emory will leave me debt free if I am able to secure decently paid work in my 1L and 2L summers, otherwise I will be left with debt < 15k.

Many look at these options and think my choice is a no-brainer: GO TO EMORY!

However, consider the following:

UMiami: I live in South Florida, and down here, UMiami is king. Most lawyers I have spoken to from Palm Beach, Dade, and Broward County recommend Miami over even the T14 (apart from HYS) for finding work in South Florida. The opportunities available to the top 10% of the class (provided a decent measure of social intelligence, personality, and networking) are excellent. While I am comfortable with the idea of making a career and life here in Palm Beach or Broward County, I do value mobility: something Miami doesn't really offer. The large class size means more competition for jobs, but less ambiguity in the curve, though sectioning kind of hurts this benefit. The student to faculty ratio is the poorest of my 3 choices, and it seems that the professors at Miami are less accessible than those at FSU or Emory.

82% of the scholarship students at Miami place in the top 3rd of the class. Since I am a scholarship recipient, I feel that I have a rational expectation to do fairly well at Miami (well into the top 3rd of the class). However, if I don't maintain the 3.2, Miami will be very expensive and I will be pretty pissed that I didn't choose FSU or Emory instead. My rational expectation at Emory is probably around median (the discrepancy between the LSAT scores of my potential Emory classmates and my own is very small, whereas at Miami it is large). Then again, if I am capable of ranking at the top of Emory, I would potentially be selling myself short by attending Miami (or FSU).

FSU: The job and internship opportunities available during the 2L and 3L years, not just the summers, are superior at FSU to Emory and Miami from what I can tell. Having strong work experience really separates FSU Law grads from the ever-growing pack of law graduates that are straight from UG and/or lack legal work experience. The campus is literally across the street from the First District Court of Appeals and is a short walk from there to the State Capitol Building. The biggest firms in Florida all have offices in Tallahassee. I had a lot of fun when I visited, and the girls at FSU are absolutely stunning, but I worry that the town will get boring after a few years. FSU students are primarily from Florida, which I think may hurt the diversity of opinion and experience within the student body. Since Emory and Miami do not give tuition breaks to students from any particular state, they have more geographically diverse student bodies. I imagine that ranking well at FSU is similar in difficulty to ranking well at Miami given the schools’ similar admissions criteria, so I expect that I would do fairly well at FSU. Students at FSU seem to find jobs after graduation at a pretty decent rate of success (higher percentage than Emory and Miami from what I can tell). The jobs aren’t always the highest paying (a lot of government work), but give great experience and are valuable in the development of a long-term career.

Emory: Ranked 20 by the USNews. Admission is getting more and more competitive every year. Atlanta is a booming market (at least relative to others given the state of the economy) and is home to 11 Fortune 500 companies. Both state and federal government opportunities are available in Atlanta. Emory students are from all over the country, and since many move back to their hometowns after school, I believe the alumni network will continue to grow and allow for a decent measure of mobility. The summer work opportunities in Atlanta are very good. Everyone in the Atlanta area knows and respects the Emory, and I think that the prestige of the school is a valuable asset. The top 15% (Maybe higher?) of the class is nationally mobile, and can find work in even saturated markets like DC and NY. Emory will almost certainly be the hardest school to rank highly at, and given my good but not stellar undergraduate performance (though at a very competitive college while heavily involved in extra-curricular activity), I am worried that I will not be able to do all that well and would then be better off having gone to school local to where I would most prefer to live. If I am capable of ranking at the top of the class at Emory, Emory would open more doors than what would be available from FSU or UMiami.
Emory is the choice easiest to explain to others (family members, non-lawyers), which puts pressure on me to choose it, but it would be foolish for me to allow that to significantly impact my choice.

So, what do you all think I should do?
Last edited by whuts4lunch on Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

imagine
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Re: Can't Decide, please help

Postby imagine » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:37 pm

How sure are you that you want to practice in Florida? That's a major consideration.

imagine
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Re: Can't Decide, please help

Postby imagine » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:15 pm

Finishing in the top third will be hard at any school. These are law students, man.

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whuts4lunch
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Re: Can't Decide, please help

Postby whuts4lunch » Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:25 pm

note the edit to the FSU scholarship... increased from 10k to 30k!

imagine
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Re: Can't Decide, please help

Postby imagine » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:17 pm

whuts4lunch wrote:note the edit to the FSU scholarship... increased from 10k to 30k!



Did you just get an email saying, "Hey we'd like to offer you more money", or did you request it?

lawduder
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Re: Can't Decide, please help

Postby lawduder » Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:15 pm

I've already given you my opinions on Emory and FSU, but your post sounds like you're leaning towards FSU with a little part of you wanting Emory for the lay prestige factor. I really think you should go with your gut and while I'm ecstatic about going to Emory myself, I voted FSU.

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whuts4lunch
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Re: Can't Decide, please help

Postby whuts4lunch » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:43 pm

I appreciate the input lawduder.

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whuts4lunch
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Re: Can't Decide, please help

Postby whuts4lunch » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:50 pm

imagine wrote:
whuts4lunch wrote:note the edit to the FSU scholarship... increased from 10k to 30k!



Did you just get an email saying, "Hey we'd like to offer you more money", or did you request it?


I didn't specifically request a scholarship increase, but I did allude to the desire for one during a phone conversation with Dean Kessinger in which I requested an extension on my April 1st seat deposit deadline so that I could decide whether to send the deposit after attending Emory's Admitted Students' Weekend on April 9/10. Perhaps that keyed FSU in that I was still seriously considering attending and that they could realistically win me over with an increased scholarship award. It looks like it might work.

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whuts4lunch
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Re: Can't Decide, please help

Postby whuts4lunch » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:00 pm

I deposited at Emory and withdrew from FSU and UMiami. Hope I made the right decision :)

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jks289
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Re: Can't Decide, please help

Postby jks289 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:03 pm

whuts4lunch wrote:I deposited at Emory and withdrew from FSU and UMiami. Hope I made the right decision :)


You did. I read your reasons and still would pick Emory. You aren't paying sticker and it is the fAR superior school. Enjoy!

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whuts4lunch
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Re: Can't Decide, please help

Postby whuts4lunch » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:16 pm

Thanks jks. Learning more about Emory's field placement opportunities at ASD helped a lot. Emory's field placement counterbalances FSU's main strength: outside the classroom experience. I also had the realization that if I attend FSU and get shut out of the better clerkships in Florida, I would be locked out elsewhere as well. Emory gives me a chance at clerkships around the country, so even if I don't get something in Atlanta, someone still might bite on my resume from another state.




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