Needing Advice--State School $$$ vs Wash U

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NonTrad1
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Needing Advice--State School $$$ vs Wash U

Postby NonTrad1 » Tue May 18, 2010 11:54 pm

So, I'm sure I'm not breaking any new ground, but I can use some advice. As some background, I'm planning on attending law school this fall, starting just shy of my 35th birthday. I think when this whole process is over, I will write a book on how 'not' to go through the law school process. As it stands, I have a few very good offers on the table.

Prior to a few weeks ago, I was relatively sure that I was going to be attending a mid Tier 1 state school, and walking out the door with essentially zero debt. Full tuition plus a stipend. It is an incredible offer that I am truly honored to have received. Two weeks ago, I was offered a slot at Wash U in St. Louis with a small but substantive scholarship. Ending price--$120-$150K, assuming no later changes. Were I 25, this would be a no-brainer. However, the lure of having no debt load at the very time I will be starting or continuing a family is enticing. Just as tempting is the thought of having a JD from Wash U. Thankfully, I'm in a situation where I really don't have any bad options, but it makes the decision that much more difficult.

As it stands, I am not sure where I want to end up geographically, or what I wish to do. My background makes me most suitable for either soft IP or health law, but I honestly am walking in the door open to anything. Wash U offers me greater options there, simply because of the higher recognition. No debt load at graduation gives me the choice of doing whatever I want though. I'm puzzled.

I am very literally giving up a career to do this, and while I realize my situation will be different from most of you (namely because of my age), I am hoping for any advice I can get. Thank you in advance for any good advice I get, and if anyone needs me to clarify my situation further, let me know.

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merichard87
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Re: Needing Advice--State School $$$ vs Wash U

Postby merichard87 » Wed May 19, 2010 12:01 am

It depends on what your goals are and what the other school is. If the state school is in the same region as WashU I would probably take the state school just because WashU is still a mainly regional school.

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romothesavior
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Re: Needing Advice--State School $$$ vs Wash U

Postby romothesavior » Wed May 19, 2010 12:08 am

Depends on the school. If it is UIUC, take UIUC. If it is any other Big 10 school, it becomes a coin flip. If it is a school like UNC, Alabama, or Georgia, you will be more limited in portability, and that added portability of WUSTL would be worth the money.

Where do you want to practice?

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romothesavior
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Re: Needing Advice--State School $$$ vs Wash U

Postby romothesavior » Wed May 19, 2010 12:19 am

Actually, you know what... no. I just skimmed your OP and thought you were just getting a substantial scholly. Full tuition AND a stipend makes this an easy call. Take the state school.

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Regionality
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Re: Needing Advice--State School $$$ vs Wash U

Postby Regionality » Wed May 19, 2010 1:08 am

No debt from a mid tier-1 state school gives you incredibly fiscal flexibility with an outstanding education. If you're looking at Iowa, Wisconsin, UNC, Davis, etc etc, all of those will give you solid career options. Zero debt is outstanding from a tier-1 school. Wash U isn't substantially better enough to offset that kind of financial difference, IMO.

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bk1
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Re: Needing Advice--State School $$$ vs Wash U

Postby bk1 » Wed May 19, 2010 2:06 am

I think that you should take the money in this case as long as you don't mind being tied to the area. As long as you are happy there, the $$$$ seems more in line with your plans.

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legalease9
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Re: Needing Advice--State School $$$ vs Wash U

Postby legalease9 » Wed May 19, 2010 2:30 am

Take the Money!!! Rank is meaningless in this situation, the schools are too close together in rank for it to matter. Now if you have regional preferense, that could be important. But since you say you don't, take the cash! Go state!

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Grizz
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Re: Needing Advice--State School $$$ vs Wash U

Postby Grizz » Wed May 19, 2010 2:37 am

What is the other school? Still pretty sure I'd recommend the $$$$.

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romothesavior
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Re: Needing Advice--State School $$$ vs Wash U

Postby romothesavior » Wed May 19, 2010 2:41 am

Just to be clear, when you say "mid Tier 1" you mean like 25-30ish, right? You don't mean like the 50s or higher, right? I know when I first started the law school app process, I assumed the Top 100 were all Tier 1 since USNWR doesn't differentiate. Obviously if we're talking about Utah vs. WUSTL then we've got a different scenario than Indiana vs. WUSTL.

I hate when OPs ask a question and then leave a thread for hours. We need more info here!

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quadsixm
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Re: Needing Advice--State School $$$ vs Wash U

Postby quadsixm » Wed May 19, 2010 3:11 am

romothesavior wrote:Just to be clear, when you say "mid Tier 1" you mean like 25-30ish, right? You don't mean like the 50s or higher, right? I know when I first started the law school app process, I assumed the Top 100 were all Tier 1 since USNWR doesn't differentiate. Obviously if we're talking about Utah vs. WUSTL then we've got a different scenario than Indiana vs. WUSTL.

I hate when OPs ask a question and then leave a thread for hours. We need more info here!


Hehe not necessarily true... if the OP wants to work in Utah

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NonTrad1
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Re: Needing Advice--State School $$$ vs Wash U

Postby NonTrad1 » Wed May 19, 2010 8:29 am

romothesavior wrote:Just to be clear, when you say "mid Tier 1" you mean like 25-30ish, right? You don't mean like the 50s or higher, right? I know when I first started the law school app process, I assumed the Top 100 were all Tier 1 since USNWR doesn't differentiate. Obviously if we're talking about Utah vs. WUSTL then we've got a different scenario than Indiana vs. WUSTL.

I hate when OPs ask a question and then leave a thread for hours. We need more info here!


Sorry...the OP here needed to go to sleep.

I'll be more thorough. The $$$$ option is Tenn. I have a second $$ option at UGA. I have no idea where I want to end up--I'm certainly not at all against the southeast--if I was, I wouldn't have applied. But I do value the flexibility that Wash U can provide.

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romothesavior
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Re: Needing Advice--State School $$$ vs Wash U

Postby romothesavior » Wed May 19, 2010 8:51 am

Ah... Well just for future reference, Tennessee is not a T1 school. T1 is 1-50, T2 is 51-100. I know that's confusing given USNWR's rankings, but that's how TLS categorizes schools. When you said "mid T1," I think most people assumed a school like UIUC, Wisconsin, Alabama, UNC, etc. People's advice may change now, so discard what people have said before.

With that said, I'm still gonna vote Tennessee, but only by a hair. Tennessee is a pretty good choice if it is free and you don't mind working in Tennessee. In fact, I'd say for people who actually want to work in Tennessee, it is a great option.

I understand your pull towards WUSTL (trust me, I do... I'm a future WUSTL student), but I don't know if it would be wise to turn down this great opportunity to get a free legal education, especially ITE. If you want more flexibility, more prestige, and a shot at big law, Wash U offers all three, but it certainly isn't a powerhouse in any of these regards. WUSTL is a reputable school with decent national portability, but I don't know it if offers enough to outweigh a completely free education. I'd take Tenn, but ONLY if you are okay being in the state permanently.

doezthewustl
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Re: Needing Advice--State School $$$ vs Wash U

Postby doezthewustl » Sat May 22, 2010 1:25 pm





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