Which schools? - please read before voting

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

Which choice would you choose?

Go to UNC, do not consider other options
15
18%
Go to UNC unless American offers full-tuition
17
20%
Go to UNC unless UVA accepts me off the wait list, even though tuition is very expensive
52
62%
 
Total votes: 84

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DeeCee
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Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby DeeCee » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:57 pm

I would like some advice from users in the forum about what choice I should pick for law school. I have a lot of uncertainties in my cycle and I'd just like to see some opinions in order to gain perspective. My plan is to attend a school that will set me up best for government or PI. I would be open to considering mid-law, but I am NOT interested in Big Law and I know I absolutely do not want Big Law. Please do not base your votes on Big Law.

So, here's the info:
I have been accepted to UNC, and I like UNC for many reasons. The tuition is very low for me (17k, I'm in state), and the school is well-regarded in the Southeast. However, I'd be happy to work anywhere from NC through the DC area. I'd REALLY like to get into DC, but I understand how hard the market is to break into, and I think it could be harder if UNC doesn't have a good connections to the DC area. Should I pick UNC, or:

American, to which I have also been accepted, if I get the PIPS (Public Interest/Public Service Scholarship). I am in the running for this, and if I happened to get it, it is full tuition. If I do not get this, I will not attend because 42k a year for American is too risky to me.

Or, should I plan on riding the Wait List at UVA, while planning to attend UNC? UVA would be 47k a year if I happened to get off their WL. If UVA wasn't so cost prohibitive, I would attend UVA hands down, but I don't have much hope of getting off the WL, anyway.

Thanks for any opinions.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby ndirish2010 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:00 pm

If you would be happy working in North Carolina, I would just go to UNC. That's a lot of debt from UVA. If you want public interest, how is UVA's LRAP? If it's not that good, then definitely UNC.

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DeeCee
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby DeeCee » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:05 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:If you would be happy working in North Carolina, I would just go to UNC. That's a lot of debt from UVA. If you want public interest, how is UVA's LRAP? If it's not that good, then definitely UNC.


I wouldn't be happy working in NC forever, but getting started it wouldn't be a big deal. I just don't want to screw myself out of the DC market, but I guess school reputation doesn't matter so much after your first job. (Not sure if I'm right here.....)

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beachbum
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby beachbum » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:15 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:If you would be happy working in North Carolina, I would just go to UNC. That's a lot of debt from UVA. If you want public interest, how is UVA's LRAP? If it's not that good, then definitely UNC.


http://www.top-law-schools.com/tls-guid ... ginia.html

Honestly, I'm not thrilled with any of these options. The UVA waitlist is basically a soft rejection. And while you should certainly stay on it, don't plan to ever get off.

UNC places well in NC, but NC (particularly Charlotte) has been hit hard by the economy. You're going to have to do very well (or make some good connections) if you want to move to DC, or anywhere out-of-state. And it's still going to leave you with ~$100k in debt:

http://www.law.unc.edu/admissions/finan ... fault.aspx

American tuition-free is attractive, but you have to account for COL and the relatively poor job prospects in a difficult market.

Is there any way you could retake and apply next year? This situation just screams for GULC.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/tls-guid ... n-law.html

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:19 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:If you would be happy working in North Carolina, I would just go to UNC. That's a lot of debt from UVA. If you want public interest, how is UVA's LRAP? If it's not that good, then definitely UNC.


UNC =#1 in public interest in NC. Also, vast majority of judges= unc.

If I were you, I'd take 17k UNC > Full ride american. DC market= too hard to chance it on american. I'd imagine if you medianed at american, you'd be f***ed. Not so with UNC.

UVa= bad choice IMO- too much debt.

keg411
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby keg411 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:20 pm

I picked option #3, but since your chances of getting off the UVA WL aren't good... just go to UNC. If you end up staying there forever, so be it... and by the time you know that will happen you will likely be settled in with career/family/etc. and won't want to move.

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AreJay711
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:22 pm

UNC is cheap and is well regarded in its area so I think that would be a solid choice. I wouldn't go to American because it isn't particularly strong in D.C. or anywhere else. If you are at the very top of your class out of UNC you might be able to get to DC so overall I think UNC is a winner since you would be OK practicing in NC. I also think riding the wait-list is the right thing to do since you will have the best chance to do what you really want to do out of UVA and the LRAP program will make it possible even with the high sticker cost.

Of course UVA wait-list isn't very fast moving with so many people in ED, so you will likely end up at UNC but stranger things have happened.

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DeeCee
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby DeeCee » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:25 pm

Beach Bum:

I'm also WL at Penn, Cornell, and GW, though I didn't go into the logistics of that because I didn't want to ask too many confusing questions. The only place I have been flat-out rejected at is GULC.

I have not received money offers yet as I am about to submit the FAFSA, and American and UNC have not yet made money offers to anyone this cycle. These things could also factor into my decision. If my prospects do not become better after money offers are extended, I could retake--this is not totally out of the question. However, I want to let my cycle fully play out before I start considering a retake because retaking and sitting out a year is going to be extremely hard for me to in my current situation, so I'm going to let it be a last resort.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:26 pm

Go to UNC unless American offers full tuition public interest scholarship. These are both great choices for your legal interest area. Northeastern in Boston could also be an interesting option based on your intended practice focus.

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DeeCee
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby DeeCee » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:30 pm

AreJay711 wrote:UNC is cheap and is well regarded in its area so I think that would be a solid choice. I wouldn't go to American because it isn't particularly strong in D.C. or anywhere else. If you are at the very top of your class out of UNC you might be able to get to DC so overall I think UNC is a winner since you would be OK practicing in NC. I also think riding the wait-list is the right thing to do since you will have the best chance to do what you really want to do out of UVA and the LRAP program will make it possible even with the high sticker cost.

Of course UVA wait-list isn't very fast moving with so many people in ED, so you will likely end up at UNC but stranger things have happened.


These are exactly my sentiments. I figured I'd have a slight shot at DC if I were at the top of my class, even though those statistics are not in my favor. Overall, I'm very surprised that American is not a preferred choice with a full ride.

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DeeCee
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby DeeCee » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:31 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Go to UNC unless American offers full tuition public interest scholarship. These are both great choices for your legal interest area. Northeastern in Boston could also be an interesting option based on your intended practice focus.


Thanks CanadianWolf. I also applied to Northeastern and got accepted with a small scholarship (29k over 3yrs). I just feel like going to school there would cause me to rack up too much debt, even with the scholarship unfortunately.

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beachbum
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby beachbum » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:32 pm

DeeCee wrote:Beach Bum:

I'm also WL at Penn, Cornell, and GW, though I didn't go into the logistics of that because I didn't want to ask too many confusing questions. The only place I have been flat-out rejected at is GULC.

I have not received money offers yet as I am about to submit the FAFSA, and American and UNC have not yet made money offers to anyone this cycle. These things could also factor into my decision. If my prospects do not become better after money offers are extended, I could retake--this is not totally out of the question. However, I want to let my cycle fully play out before I start considering a retake because retaking and sitting out a year is going to be extremely hard for me to in my current situation, so I'm going to let it be a last resort.


Fair enough. I'd say UNC with a scholarship becomes the clear option out of these three, but I dunno... GULC's LRAP and DC placement would be perfect for what you're trying to do.

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northwood
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby northwood » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:34 pm

Go to UNC. The tuition is rather inexpensive, you are local, and you like the area. It seems as though you wouldnt mind working there for a bit ( just get a better apt!!!!!!!!!!) and your ties to the region will help convince hiring partners that you are not a flight risk. DC is nice, but it is super competitive to get into, and super expensive to live. Ride the UVA waitlist train, but be prepared to start your career at UNC. If you get off the WL- then go obviously, but if you dont, you arent making a bad choice to go to UNC.

American at only cost of living would be allright, but you will be competitng with a lot of other schools in the area, and willl have a much more difficult time networking back home than if you went to UNC.

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DeeCee
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby DeeCee » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:51 pm

northwood wrote:Go to UNC. The tuition is rather inexpensive, you are local, and you like the area. It seems as though you wouldnt mind working there for a bit ( just get a better apt!!!!!!!!!!) and your ties to the region will help convince hiring partners that you are not a flight risk. DC is nice, but it is super competitive to get into, and super expensive to live. Ride the UVA waitlist train, but be prepared to start your career at UNC. If you get off the WL- then go obviously, but if you dont, you arent making a bad choice to go to UNC.

American at only cost of living would be allright, but you will be competitng with a lot of other schools in the area, and willl have a much more difficult time networking back home than if you went to UNC.


Thanks for your opinions, Northwood. Once again, I am really surprised American would not be more highly regarded with a full ride. However, I really think COL in DC would be extravagant versus Chapel Hill.

And LOL at the better apartment. Believe me, I have learned what to look for in my next place! Plus, I have several friends at UNC and they told me if I got in they'd show me around and let me know where the good places to live were.

I guess the other question to ask would also be: is it worth it to go to UVA at sticker when you don't want Big Law?

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northwood
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby northwood » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:07 pm

DeeCee wrote:
northwood wrote:Go to UNC. The tuition is rather inexpensive, you are local, and you like the area. It seems as though you wouldnt mind working there for a bit ( just get a better apt!!!!!!!!!!) and your ties to the region will help convince hiring partners that you are not a flight risk. DC is nice, but it is super competitive to get into, and super expensive to live. Ride the UVA waitlist train, but be prepared to start your career at UNC. If you get off the WL- then go obviously, but if you dont, you arent making a bad choice to go to UNC.

American at only cost of living would be allright, but you will be competitng with a lot of other schools in the area, and willl have a much more difficult time networking back home than if you went to UNC.


Thanks for your opinions, Northwood. Once again, I am really surprised American would not be more highly regarded with a full ride. However, I really think COL in DC would be extravagant versus Chapel Hill.

And LOL at the better apartment. Believe me, I have learned what to look for in my next place! Plus, I have several friends at UNC and they told me if I got in they'd show me around and let me know where the good places to live were.

I guess the other question to ask would also be: is it worth it to go to UVA at sticker when you don't want Big Law?


I dont know. it depends on what you want. If you want to stay in NC- then i would think unc would be a better choice, especially at the cost. If you really want DC- then UVA would be a better bet. however, i would choose a school based on what you want to do, where you want to live and practice after school. UVA willallow you to go to dc and va. if you really want nc- then stay in school in nc. to me, sticker price is a scary proposition. But there are people who will go to the best school they get into. My best bet would be to make a list of pros and cons for each school, visit the school and weigh your experiences to the list. whatever one is better in your opinion- is the better school for you, and your situtation

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Moral_Midgetry
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby Moral_Midgetry » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:08 pm

northwood, you really love the pros and cons lists.

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northwood
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby northwood » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:13 pm

hells yes. its an easy way to categorizew your thoughts, and put them on paper, in an organized manner, rather than let them run wild in your head. plus by putting them on paper, you force yourself to think about them further, and you will be able to see what your thoughts and gut instinct are telling you. compare that to what you experience from the school visit, and its a good way to make a decision. I m not saying that its the perfect way to make a decision, just one that i found to be helpful in most cases( i.e where to go to school, where to move, which job to take) and wiill let you make a decision and be able to put your thoughts in order and sleep on it for a few days- then go back and re evaluate it.

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DeeCee
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby DeeCee » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:15 pm

northwood wrote:
DeeCee wrote:
northwood wrote:Go to UNC. The tuition is rather inexpensive, you are local, and you like the area. It seems as though you wouldnt mind working there for a bit ( just get a better apt!!!!!!!!!!) and your ties to the region will help convince hiring partners that you are not a flight risk. DC is nice, but it is super competitive to get into, and super expensive to live. Ride the UVA waitlist train, but be prepared to start your career at UNC. If you get off the WL- then go obviously, but if you dont, you arent making a bad choice to go to UNC.

American at only cost of living would be allright, but you will be competitng with a lot of other schools in the area, and willl have a much more difficult time networking back home than if you went to UNC.


Thanks for your opinions, Northwood. Once again, I am really surprised American would not be more highly regarded with a full ride. However, I really think COL in DC would be extravagant versus Chapel Hill.

And LOL at the better apartment. Believe me, I have learned what to look for in my next place! Plus, I have several friends at UNC and they told me if I got in they'd show me around and let me know where the good places to live were.

I guess the other question to ask would also be: is it worth it to go to UVA at sticker when you don't want Big Law?


I dont know. it depends on what you want. If you want to stay in NC- then i would think unc would be a better choice, especially at the cost. If you really want DC- then UVA would be a better bet. however, i would choose a school based on what you want to do, where you want to live and practice after school. UVA willallow you to go to dc and va. if you really want nc- then stay in school in nc. to me, sticker price is a scary proposition. But there are people who will go to the best school they get into. My best bet would be to make a list of pros and cons for each school, visit the school and weigh your experiences to the list. whatever one is better in your opinion- is the better school for you, and your situtation


really, my first choice is UNC. But I don't want to limit myself only to NC by going there; I'd eventually like to move northward, even if I work in NC for a few years first. This is where my dilemma stems from. And I agree, sticker cost at most schools is extremely scary!!

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DeeCee
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby DeeCee » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:36 pm

So less than positive reviews for full-tuition at American?

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Patriot1208
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:40 pm

With your plans and in my limited knowledge, UNC seems like the place to go. It won't cost you much and it is still well respected. IMHO, 17k per year is certainly worth it over American at full tuition. Especially, considering it won't be that much after you account for COL. UNC is one of the lower ranked schools that dominates a certain area, that is where you want to be if you are going to a school in that range. American is a school that is stuck in the middle of a market that every other school feeds into and is prestige driven. I think American is always a bad idea, for anyone.

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patrickd139
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby patrickd139 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:51 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:With your plans and in my limited knowledge, UNC seems like the place to go. It won't cost you much and it is still well respected. IMHO, 17k per year is certainly worth it over American at full tuition. Especially, considering it won't be that much after you account for COL. UNC is one of the lower ranked schools that dominates a certain area, that is where you want to be if you are going to a school in that range. American is a school that is stuck in the middle of a market that every other school feeds into and is prestige driven. I think American is always a bad idea, for anyone.

+1 to the bolded, especially. I'm particularly debt-averse myself, so my vote for UNC is influenced not insignificantly by the COA for each school. UNC is close enough to DC that, if you do well, you should be in the running for two things: getting a job outright or transferring to a school that (if in a year you decide you HAVE to be in D.C.) will place better.

OTOH, your desire to "move north" makes this a little more difficult. Wait out your WLs for the higher ranked schools and go from there. I think any one of those (Penn, UVA or Cornell, not GW) would be a better option than UNC. Or sit out a year, increase the strength of your application (LSAT, etc.) and apply again. Either way, GL!

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DeeCee
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby DeeCee » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:57 pm

Wow, my decision is even harder now that I know there are so many varying opinions! I do appreciate knowing that American is not worth it to so many people, though. At least it gives me some perspective on the whole situation.

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patrickd139
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby patrickd139 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:00 pm

DeeCee wrote:Wow, my decision is even harder now that I know there are so many varying opinions! I do appreciate knowing that American is not worth it to so many people, though. At least it gives me some perspective on the whole situation.

Your decision will be hard, but I think it will come down to choosing between two (maybe three if you get off the WL of more than one school) good options. Choosing between UNC in state and UVA/Cornell/Penn sticker would be a tough choice, but given your career aspirations, I don't think there's particularly a wrong choice between those two.

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soullesswonder
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby soullesswonder » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:01 pm

northwood wrote:
I dont know. it depends on what you want. If you want to stay in NC- then i would think unc would be a better choice, especially at the cost. If you really want DC- then UVA would be a better bet. however, i would choose a school based on what you want to do, where you want to live and practice after school. UVA willallow you to go to dc and va. if you really want nc- then stay in school in nc. to me, sticker price is a scary proposition. But there are people who will go to the best school they get into. My best bet would be to make a list of pros and cons for each school, visit the school and weigh your experiences to the list. whatever one is better in your opinion- is the better school for you, and your situtation


I generally agree, although I think UVA grads with ties to NC will do better with the top NC firms (115-130k starting salary) than UNC grads. Moreover, at that starting salary you can afford to pay off the loans, even at sticker. Our LRAP was reinforced last year, and IIRC correctly UNC canceled their planned LRAP, so if you go the PI/Gov route I don't think the prospect of paying sticker at UVA should deter you. That said, UNC is a fine option...just don't go to American.

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: Which schools? - please read before voting

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:05 pm

Can we all agree on one thing--- No american?




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