What type (and possibly which particular) law school should I attend? I have the ever-infamous question: do I take the money, or go to a better school where I have to take out loans?
So first, a little about me...
I am a 21-year-old senior at a small liberal arts school in Mississippi. Here are my stats:
162 LSAT (one test)
Dual B.A. in Psychology/Legal Studies
Dual minors in Theatre/Political Science
Above average to well above average softs
I have a problem that I've seen many have; I could *possibly* get accepted to T1 schools, will get accepted to T2 schools with no scholarship money, and will get 90% tuition covered or more from T3/4.
Also, you need to know my legal goals. Tentatively, I plan on going through the JAG program in the USAF. I want to put in 4-6 years (while maybe doing freelance private practice on the side) active duty, then become a reservist and work in a D.A./Federal Prosecutor's office. My long-term goal has always been public office - whether it be D.A., state Supreme Court justice, Congressman, judge, etc. Admittedly, I have never taken a formal legal class. I could take a class in a specific field of law, fall in love with it, and find my niche outside of the JAG corps.
Also, I would like to stay in the geographic South(-ish), but am open to moving anywhere in the country for the right deals. Basically, if a line was drawn from New Orleans, LA, up to St. Louis, MO, and over to Washington D.C., I would prefer to live anywhere in that Southeastern section. While I want to stay in the geographic South (I have family members, namely my mother in particular, who are not in fair health, and I would like to remain relatively close), I would like to avoid the cultural South. Cities like New Orleans, Atlanta, the entire state of Florida, etc are technically in the South, but not stereotypically "Southern".
I have applied to:
Mississippi College in Jackson, MS
- T4. Gave me full-tuition, plus a $2,000 annual stipend. Have to remain in top 20% of the class each year to renew. They would also give me the option to dually enroll and get my M.P.P. at no extra cost (just an additional year that my scholarship could be extended for), without ever having to take the GMAT/GRE. It is in Jackson, MS, and is therefore only 3hrs.from my hometown, Biloxi, MS, where a lot of my friends and family reside. Also, is the state capitol, where the Gov. Barbour's office is located. I worked closely with Haley Barbour's older brother on a Congressional campaign staff, and as Haley has Presidential aspirations for 2012, I would have a chance to get a foot in the door networking.
Loyola University in New Orleans, LA
-T3. Gave me $34,000 annually out of the $36,000 cost of living. Have to remain in the top 15% of the class each year to renew. Only a little over an hour away from my friends and family on the Coast. I love the city of New Orleans and used to visit frequently when I lived in Biloxi. I am a huge New Orleans Saints' fan (may not be a reason to some, but my level of fan-dom deems it such). I would have the ability to study the Napoleanic code, which in the JAG program, could be handy (whether I am stationed in LA or overseas).
Tulane University in New Orelans, LA
-T2. I applied late and have not heard anything back. I list this one seperately because I applied with a tangible application as opposed to electronic.
Mercer University in Macon, GA.
-T3. Gave $26,000 out of $35,000 annually. Only a three hour move from my current apartment now. I would have an one-bedroom apartment (with a seperate one-car garage, drive-way, washer/dryer, in-ground pool, seperate entrance and more) on a relative's property, and would not have to pay any bills. I also love the city of Atlanta, and am a huge Atlanta Braves' fan (more so a Braves' fan than a Saints'). I am in the running for the top Mercer scholarship, which would pay full tuition, books, and a $5,000 annual stipend.
University of Richmond in Richmond, VA
-T3. Offerred a letter of acceptance, and stated a scholarship letter would follow within the next 5-10 business days. Pending my scholarship offer. Beautiful weather in Richmond, and is located in the state capitol (so there would be plenty of job opportunities) and close to D.C. (so plenty of potential political opportunities).
I have also applied to these schools and have not heard anything back yet:
University of Alabama, Emory, William & Mary, University of Mississippi, Louisiana State University, and Georgia State University
Some of the above schools I applied to significantly later than others. I will be accepted to most of the schools I applied. Most.
I am attending a law school fair at the University of Alabama in two days, and will meet with plenty of representatives from different schools, and taking a look at the list, here are the schools I would consider applying to:
American University, Atlanta's John Marshall, Florida State University, St. Louis University, University of Alabama, Vanderbilt, and University of Georgia.
I'd love opinions!!
(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
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