Which school for public interest work in the Southeast?

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

Where should I go?

Alabama (Full ride + Mentoring from the Dean)
5
31%
WUSTL (Full ride)
2
13%
Georgia ($24,000 of debt)
1
6%
Vandy ($51,000 of debt)
8
50%
Emory ($54,000 of debt)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 16

sghall
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:33 am

Which school for public interest work in the Southeast?

Postby sghall » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:12 pm

I am really struggling to make a decision and would appreciate any insight people might have. I was born and raised in Alabama, went to college up North, but see myself living in the South long-term since all of my family is there. I don't necessarily want to live permanently in Alabama but maybe somewhere like Atlanta or Nashville. I want to do public interest law, so I'm very wary of taking on a lot of debt for law school. I realize that most schools have LRAPs, but it's still kind of scary to rely on them. (For instance, you have to be making less than $50,000 a year to qualify for Vandy's LRAP, but their average starting salary in public interest is $50,000, so there's a chance I wouldn't qualify for it at all.

Bama would be nice because it's free, and I got to meet with the Dean and really liked him. And Alabama's law school is really highly regarded in the state of Alabama. But if I want to be somewhere like Atlanta, I wonder if it might be worth it to take on some debt in order to increase my chances of employment. People don't talk a lot about public interest employment, so any knowledge about this would be appreciated.

User avatar
mez06
Posts: 349
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:11 pm

Re: Which school for public interest work in the Southeast?

Postby mez06 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:14 pm

Is the debt you are speaking of ONLY tuition or is that the total COA?

User avatar
src42
Posts: 287
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:26 am

Re: Which school for public interest work in the Southeast?

Postby src42 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:25 pm

Good public interest jobs are more competitive than many people realize. Vandy would give you more portability if you decide you want to leave the south and would position you for the best jobs throughout the south.

Sandro
Posts: 2526
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:12 am

Re: Which school for public interest work in the Southeast?

Postby Sandro » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:26 pm

Yea - full tuition at UGA would still leave you more than 24k in debt.

duckmoney
Posts: 886
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:21 pm

Re: Which school for public interest work in the Southeast?

Postby duckmoney » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:30 pm

Either Vandy or Alabama for sure. But I'd lean towards Vandy because of much greater prestige and placement. If you're only 51k in debt, you can pay that off even if you're only making $50k a year in public interest.

Good rule of thumb is don't borrow more than you can expect to make in a year, but you would be fine at Vandy, so I would go with that. Also, IBR might kick in as well.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Which school for public interest work in the Southeast?

Postby Grizz » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:43 pm

Want ATL? Vandy will do you better than UGA there.

Want Nashville? Without ties, Vandy is your only shot. Ridiculously competitive even among Vandy students.

sghall
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:33 am

Re: Which school for public interest work in the Southeast?

Postby sghall » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:46 pm

mez06 wrote:Is the debt you are speaking of ONLY tuition or is that the total COA?


It's only tuition. I will be living with my fiance, and he will pretty much be covering all of our living expenses. We may have to take out a little more in loans to cover some of my books or something like that but hopefully nothing substantial.




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