University of Missouri-Columbia vs. Arkansas-Little Rock

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

Which would you choose based on information given?

University of Missouri-Columbia
8
62%
University of Arkansas-Little Rock
5
38%
 
Total votes: 13

moon7789
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:56 pm

University of Missouri-Columbia vs. Arkansas-Little Rock

Postby moon7789 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:58 pm

So I have a dilemma...

I've been accepted to the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Arkansas-Little Rock as well as several other T2 and T3 schools. My numbers (157/3.37) match up better with UALR's 75th percentile LSAT (158) and median GPA (3.36) compared to Mizzou's 25th-median LSAT (156-158) and 25th percentile GPA (3.24). I want to practice in Missouri and hopefully open my own practice some day. It would be in the rural area I live where there are not a lot of lawyers. However, I would like to work as a public defender my first few years out of law school. I interned with one this past summer and really enjoyed it. My parents really want me to go to Mizzou because it is six hours closer to home than UALR.

One factor that I have heard is important is networking with people where you want to practice. I know several lawyers around where I want to practice already. My uncle has been a judge around here for 32 years, I know several prosecutors and defense attorneys personally (being from a rural area), and I have been introduced to several lawyers around where I go to college which isn't far from where I live.

I have also heard that law schools teach the law somewhat specifically to the states they are located in. This is supposed to help in passing the bar. I've heard of several people who have successfully passed the bar in states which they did not go to law school so that isn't a big concern for me. Also, I have been told that there may be a national bar within the next three years.

The money issue is what really concerns me and is a big reason why I am having this dilemma. I have been offered a nonresident scholarship and a $12,000 merit scholarship to UALR which would make my first year of law school free, tuition-wise. The merit scholarship is renewable for all three years as long as I keep a GPA in the top 40% of my class. Nonresident tuition can be attained after six months in Arkansas. Mizzou scholarships are not handed out until February-March and I don't expect to get one because of my relatively low numbers. Living expenses in Columbia and Little Rock are pretty comparable so I'm not worried about money as far as living goes. Everyone knows the economy is terrible, law students are having a hard time finding jobs and they are graduating with large amounts of debt. Of course it's hard to say how things will be in three years.

Here are three likely scenarios for three years of law school tuition:

Mizzou: $51,000
UALR (w/o scholarship last two years + residency): $24,000
UALR (w/ scholarship + residency): virtually free

Any input would be appreciated!

User avatar
BarbellDreams
Posts: 2256
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: University of Missouri-Columbia vs. Arkansas-Little Rock

Postby BarbellDreams » Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:25 pm

Retake is going to be advice #1, but lets assume you're not willing to retake no matter how much people will try and convince you here. If you are 100% sure you want to work in MO you have to go with Mizzou, simple as that. Mizzou is a quality school, but they got rocked by the economy. Their employment stats have been going down the past couple of years, and they are quite regional. With that said, Arkansas is much worse in employment and regional preference. If you go to Arkansas, there is a decent chance you will never make it back to MO with a decent job. 51K is a heavy loan from a T2 that doesn't have stellar employment stats, but I feel like neither option is ideal, and with your need to practice in MO I would take the extra 27K hit and go to Mizzou.

*** This entire post is assuming you are not willing to retake. If you retook and got 5 points higher on your LSAT Mizzou may give you close to fullride, just some food for thought.

User avatar
johnnyutah
Posts: 1709
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:00 pm

Re: University of Missouri-Columbia vs. Arkansas-Little Rock

Postby johnnyutah » Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:39 pm

Your heavy family connections should get you a Missouri job no matter where you go to law school, as long as you work there both summers. Take the money at UALR.

moon7789
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:56 pm

Re: University of Missouri-Columbia vs. Arkansas-Little Rock

Postby moon7789 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:49 pm

Thanks for the replies. I would have liked to retake again, but I already did once and raised my score 10+ points.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: University of Missouri-Columbia vs. Arkansas-Little Rock

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:25 pm

Missouri is the better choice for you since you intend to live & practice in that state. Declaring residency simply for educational tuition purposes may not be a valid reason under Arkansas guidelines--although that varies by state.
It is a highly unlikely that there will be a "national bar" within three years. The multi-state portion of the bar exam was a reasonable move to assure basic competencies among states, thus there is little need for a national bar in that respect. States are unwilling to give up power over attorneys or other licensed professionals even with good cause.

User avatar
mpj_3050
Posts: 372
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:59 pm

Re: University of Missouri-Columbia vs. Arkansas-Little Rock

Postby mpj_3050 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:00 pm

moon7789 wrote:So I have a dilemma...

I've been accepted to the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Arkansas-Little Rock as well as several other T2 and T3 schools. My numbers (157/3.37) match up better with UALR's 75th percentile LSAT (158) and median GPA (3.36) compared to Mizzou's 25th-median LSAT (156-158) and 25th percentile GPA (3.24). I want to practice in Missouri and hopefully open my own practice some day. It would be in the rural area I live where there are not a lot of lawyers. However, I would like to work as a public defender my first few years out of law school. I interned with one this past summer and really enjoyed it. My parents really want me to go to Mizzou because it is six hours closer to home than UALR.

One factor that I have heard is important is networking with people where you want to practice. I know several lawyers around where I want to practice already. My uncle has been a judge around here for 32 years, I know several prosecutors and defense attorneys personally (being from a rural area), and I have been introduced to several lawyers around where I go to college which isn't far from where I live.

I have also heard that law schools teach the law somewhat specifically to the states they are located in. This is supposed to help in passing the bar. I've heard of several people who have successfully passed the bar in states which they did not go to law school so that isn't a big concern for me. Also, I have been told that there may be a national bar within the next three years.

The money issue is what really concerns me and is a big reason why I am having this dilemma. I have been offered a nonresident scholarship and a $12,000 merit scholarship to UALR which would make my first year of law school free, tuition-wise. The merit scholarship is renewable for all three years as long as I keep a GPA in the top 40% of my class. Nonresident tuition can be attained after six months in Arkansas. Mizzou scholarships are not handed out until February-March and I don't expect to get one because of my relatively low numbers. Living expenses in Columbia and Little Rock are pretty comparable so I'm not worried about money as far as living goes. Everyone knows the economy is terrible, law students are having a hard time finding jobs and they are graduating with large amounts of debt. Of course it's hard to say how things will be in three years.

Here are three likely scenarios for three years of law school tuition:

Mizzou: $51,000
UALR (w/o scholarship last two years + residency): $24,000
UALR (w/ scholarship + residency): virtually free

Any input would be appreciated!


You received a 12k a year merit scholarship and a non-resident scholarship? I received a non-resident scholarship and 8k a year merit contingent on top 60%. I have a 3.5/160 so it looks like you beat me on the money, nice job. If you have the connections in Missouri than go to Little Rock because 51k in just tuition is pretty steep for a school that is going to be heavily restricted geographically. You said you wanted to be a public defender and debt would not matter with public service loan forgiveness for federal loans but you must get a qualifying position and keep it for 10 years. UALR would offer a little more wiggle room if you find out you want to change your mind and go private practice. Again you have to get a job, but 40k in debt with a 40k starting salary is manageable but with 51k in just the tuition you would struggle with private practice and would likely need IBR because Mizzou would not get you a job that pays enough to pay the debt in a timely manner. With no scholarship Mizzou could approach 90k total cost and that would be a terrible burden if you can't secure and hold a public service job.

Edit: also try and get them to maybe relax the stipulations a bit.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: University of Missouri-Columbia vs. Arkansas-Little Rock

Postby keg411 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:47 am

Ask your connections what they think you should do, but I'd lean towards Mizzou since it's ALWAYS best to go to school where you want to practice. Especially since you can work 2L/3L year.




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