ND/Emory/UF/Stetson

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Mesqueunclub
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ND/Emory/UF/Stetson

Postby Mesqueunclub » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:48 am

Hey everyone, I was hoping to get a little feedback on my options.

Here's a little context: I'd like to work in the Tampa/St. Pete area after graduation (from there with pretty good connections). At the very least, I'd like to work somewhere in Florida.

I've enjoyed gainesville but would prefer a new place for the next 3 years.

I'm not dead set on biglaw (or at least biglaw for florida) but I'm definitely not ruling out pursuing it if I'm fortunate enough to have the grades for it. I've talked to a partner at one of the big firms in Tampa, and he told me what he thought the cutoffs would be for each school I'm considering. So I have a decent idea of what my chances are with my options (closer to top 30% for ND vs. top 3% for stetson).

I'm trying to keep my debt reasonable (100k-120k at the most).

My options:

Emory---------------------------------------------------------COA: ~117k
ND------------------------------------------------------------COA: ~97k
UF---------------------------------------------------COA: ~78k (15%/yr tuition increase)
Stetson------------------------------------------COA: ~24k

I'd love to hear your thoughts behind your choice. And please ask me any questions if I didn't give you enough info.

Thanks!

Edit: Updated for stetson stipend. I'm sure to most people on tls this is irrelevant, but keep in mind I'm trying to return to the Tampa Bay area after I graduate. Also, I removed IUB and w&m from the poll and tweaked the COA amounts for ND and Emory.
Last edited by Mesqueunclub on Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:42 pm, edited 6 times in total.

spets
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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby spets » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:52 am

I'm interested to see responses - also, let me know how negotiating with Emory is. Their policy is that they don't negotiate merit scholarships, but please keep me updated on if you're successful or not.

ran12
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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby ran12 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:56 am

UF is the obvious answer if you want to work in Tampa/St. Pete but unless you're 100% dedicated to doing that, I wouldn't pick UF. There's a chance that as you go through law school you may want to go to another region. If that's the case, ND would be the best pick b/c of its national reputation. Don't even consider Stetson. Even if you're getting a full ride, it shouldn't be in consideration when you've got so many better options. I understand Stetson may have a good rep in the area but you need to consider what kind of job opportunities you'll have. Going to Stetson will limit your ability to get in the door to a lot of places. There are no guarantees about jobs but I would do a cost analysis where you consider the debt payments per year against COL and the median salary for the school.

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Mesqueunclub
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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby Mesqueunclub » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:16 pm

spets wrote:I'm interested to see responses - also, let me know how negotiating with Emory is. Their policy is that they don't negotiate merit scholarships, but please keep me updated on if you're successful or not.


I've heard the same, but I figured it was worth a shot anyways. I'll let you know how it goes.


ran12 wrote:UF is the obvious answer if you want to work in Tampa/St. Pete but unless you're 100% dedicated to doing that, I wouldn't pick UF. There's a chance that as you go through law school you may want to go to another region. If that's the case, ND would be the best pick b/c of its national reputation. Don't even consider Stetson. Even if you're getting a full ride, it shouldn't be in consideration when you've got so many better options. I understand Stetson may have a good rep in the area but you need to consider what kind of job opportunities you'll have. Going to Stetson will limit your ability to get in the door to a lot of places. There are no guarantees about jobs but I would do a cost analysis where you consider the debt payments per year against COL and the median salary for the school.


Thanks for your input.

The cost analysis is definitely a good idea and something I plan on doing.

I'm also interested in the UF vs ND aspect of what you said. The COA difference between the two would be ~35k. While I still plan on contacting more ND alum in the Tampa/St. Pete area, the lawyers I've talked to already have suggested that ND will still open more doors than UF with my class rank being equal.

I know 35k is not an amount to take lightly, but would these extra opportunities (and more leeway for changing my mind on location after school) make that extra debt worth it in your opinion?

ran12
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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby ran12 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:21 pm

The 35k extra debt from ND is def worth it when you consider that it does open more doors and that the debt payments spread over 10 years aren't so bad. You're looking at maybe 4-4.5k extra per year debt payments with interest included. In the grand scheme of things, it's a risk worth taking.

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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby Sandro » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:46 pm

Emory or nd. Marginally more debt but better employment prospects than uf.

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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby pcthenls » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:59 pm

Wow I am in a nearly similar boat, with the exception that I am not dead set on Tampa/St. Pete being my ulimate goal. I was born and raised here and love it, also attended UF and don't feel like I want to spend another 3 years in Gainesville. I guess you are not considering FSU?

Stetson is ideal for this area. I also got the full scholly but probably won't be going there because I would like to pursue other interests in law not really offered there. If you want trial advocacy or the Tampa Bay area it's a wonderful school and student community (actually taking scuba lessons with a Stetson 1L right now).

Did you negotiate money out of ND or were you offered that initially? I got 75k from Emory and nothing from ND.

I won't pretend to know your situation or give you advice, other than go with the school that feels right. If you can see yourself achieving your legal career goals and feel comfortable somewhere, go there! None of your options have you paying sticker and all are great choices depending on the individual. Best of luck with your decision!

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Mesqueunclub
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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby Mesqueunclub » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:10 pm

Sandro wrote:Emory or nd. Marginally more debt but better employment prospects than uf.


Thanks for the advice.

Do you view emory and nd as pretty much a toss-up for job prospects in Florida (and tampa/st. pete in particular)?

I've already scheduled a visit to both schools, so I'll be able to judge the QOL aspect soon. But the 10-15k difference in COA is what sticks out the most to me right now. I know it's not much but I'd still rather hang on to that 15k if all things are equal.

Plus, the nd london program is something I'm really interested in.

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Mesqueunclub
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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby Mesqueunclub » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:28 pm

pcthenls wrote:Wow I am in a nearly similar boat, with the exception that I am not dead set on Tampa/St. Pete being my ulimate goal. I was born and raised here and love it, also attended UF and don't feel like I want to spend another 3 years in Gainesville. I guess you are not considering FSU?

Stetson is ideal for this area. I also got the full scholly but probably won't be going there because I would like to pursue other interests in law not really offered there. If you want trial advocacy or the Tampa Bay area it's a wonderful school and student community (actually taking scuba lessons with a Stetson 1L right now).

Did you negotiate money out of ND or were you offered that initially? I got 75k from Emory and nothing from ND.

I won't pretend to know your situation or give you advice, other than go with the school that feels right. If you can see yourself achieving your legal career goals and feel comfortable somewhere, go there! None of your options have you paying sticker and all are great choices depending on the individual. Best of luck with your decision!


Thanks for the well wishes, and best of luck to you too!

I actually never applied to FSU. Part of that was because I figured I would have UF as an option and prefer gainesville to tally. The other part is that I've had a deep hatred of garnet and gold ever since I could walk :lol:

My nd offer is the initial one. I'm really surprised you got nothing from them after such a great offer from emory. 75k is awesome though, congrats!

And as far as Stetson, I know exactly what you're talking about. It has great connections in the Tampa Bay area and the community is great. I actually got a chance to visit and loved everything about it from the campus to the professors. My only concern is the job prospects! Based on what I've been told, even in the TB area, the difference in job opportunities between Stetson and some of my other choices is pretty significant.

Thanks again for the insight. And I'd definitely try negotiating with nd if you haven't already. I know they're known for being tough to haggle with, but that 75k emory offer should definitely get their attention.

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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:44 pm

Probably ND, since it is only 40K more than UF and you would be opening up another region which you might want to go to eventually. You can bring the ND degree back to Tampa with your strong ties.

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Mesqueunclub
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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby Mesqueunclub » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:58 pm

Thanks for all the advice so far. ND seems to be the popular choice.

Any more thoughts?

The poll is pretty much a clusterfuck at this point :lol:

fakemoney
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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby fakemoney » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:59 pm

I'd say it's probably between ND and Emory

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Mesqueunclub
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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby Mesqueunclub » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:10 pm

Bump!

I think I've pretty much ruled out IUB and w&m, because I don't see them helping me out much down in FL. And I feel like the extra 20k to go to UF vs. IUB (7k vs. w&m) would be worth it in the long run.

I'd really like to get some feedback from people with knowledge of the florida legal market.

flcath
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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby flcath » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:25 pm

Hey OP, I'm a current NDLSer possibly looking to go back to FL as well (not from the area, but went to college there).

It's definitely doable--even kids with subpar grades are doing it, and getting decent jobs (arguable better than Biglaw from a holistic perspective)--but I haven't seen people getting work at GT or Holland & Knight. I would guess Emory is better for that.

It's hard to compare, b/c obviously ND is further from FL than Emory, but ELS certainly sends more ppl into FL, and will have a better alumni network there. At the same time (and this is anecdotal, but as it's relevant to my interests I've talked to almost every 3L looking to head to FL), the ease w/ which people seem to be finding jobs there is really encouraging...

Neither of the major FL Biglaw firms does OCI here now, though I think HK used to.

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Mickey Quicknumbers
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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:58 pm

Emory has a stronger reach in the SE, but if you have strong ties to Tampa i'm not sure how much of a difference that would make.

I'd go Emory or Notre Dame for sure.

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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby flexityflex86 » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:02 pm

If your goal is Tampa, I'd say Emory. It is going to place the best there from those options, and from any non-t 14 not named Vandy unless I'm underrating UF.

I wouldn't do Stetson (sorry if I'm misspelling the school). You're going to be doing a ton of work in law school, and your hard work is worth $ in itself so to risk really bad job prospects just is not the way to go in my personal opinion, regardless of the scholarship. I think IU: B is a much better option, bec. you'd give up your target region but at least you'll have a solid region.

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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby seriously???? » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:24 am

hmm...100k+ in debt makes my stomach turn...what exactly is pretty good connections in FLA? if you went to Stetson, would you be able to strengthen those connections even more? i feel that over 100k in debt forces one into biglaw...you work your ass off for three years just to pay off your debt, and if you aren't in biglaw, you prolly won't be enjoying your money for many years. if you think your connections are good enough to get you even a low paying job practicing in Tampa, I'd take stetson. it sucks to make young people pick a definite location to start out and possibly end up there forever, but overwhelming debt is scarier in my book.
whatever choice you make will be the right one.

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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby flcath » Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:56 am

flexityflex86 wrote:If your goal is Tampa, I'd say Emory. It is going to place the best there from those options, and from any non-t 14 not named Vandy unless I'm underrating UF.

I wouldn't do Stetson (sorry if I'm misspelling the school). You're going to be doing a ton of work in law school, and your hard work is worth $ in itself so to risk really bad job prospects just is not the way to go in my personal opinion, regardless of the scholarship. I think IU: B is a much better option, bec. you'd give up your target region but at least you'll have a solid region.

It's spelled SteTTTson.
(Waka waka waka)

In all seriousness, Stetson's rep is pretty strong in Tampa and north FL (not that it isn't in SoFla; I just don't know). You WON'T be landing GT or H&K coming out of there--and you're a dude who could potentially land that gig out of ELS or ND--but Stetson grads to be well-respected... bear in mind that this is a state that is brimming with as many god-awful putrid TTTTs as the ABA/Infilaw could cram into it, so there's a bit of a big fish, small pond effect going on.

I don't know how Stetson places these days; respect doesn't always correlate to success getting recent grads employed. But a full-ride makes this an essentially risk-free proposition for you.

If it were me personally, I'd take ELS > ND > UF, Stetson > W&M, IUB

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Mesqueunclub
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Re: ND/Emory/UF/Stetson

Postby Mesqueunclub » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:49 pm

Thanks for all the responses.

flcath wrote:I don't know how Stetson places these days; respect doesn't always correlate to success getting recent grads employed. But a full-ride makes this an essentially risk-free proposition for you.


That's exactly why it's so hard to turn down, especially since Tampa is my target area. I feel like it comes down to deciding whether or not that low-risk is worth the big difference in job prospects. I'm just worried that too much risk-aversion will leave me with some serious regrets coming out of school.

flcath wrote:If it were me personally, I'd take ELS > ND > UF, Stetson > W&M, IUB


My thoughts are almost exactly the same right now. Only difference is that it's more like ND=Emory since I still need to visit both and finish negotiations.

I really appreciate the insight, you gave me a lot of useful advice.

Mickey Quicknumbers wrote:Emory has a stronger reach in the SE, but if you have strong ties to Tampa i'm not sure how much of a difference that would make.

I'd go Emory or Notre Dame for sure.


That's a big question in my mind. The attorneys I've talked to so far haven't said they would be viewed any differently, but I'm wondering if other people have heard that they are. Though, my guess would be that even if they are, the difference is so negligible that my choice between the two should focus on other factors like QOL and COA.

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Grizz
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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby Grizz » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:54 pm

Sandro wrote:Emory or nd. Marginally more debt but better employment prospects than uf.


This. As a native Tampa, I'd lean Emory because they traditionally do pretty well in FL.

Also, keep in mind the Tampa and the FL market as a whole is a festering, putrid sewer. Going to either of the above will open up another market (Chi and ATL).

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Mesqueunclub
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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby Mesqueunclub » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:20 pm

rad law wrote: As a native Tampa, I'd lean Emory because they traditionally do pretty well in FL.


Do you think the difference in their FL (mainly Tampa) job prospects is big enough to play a major role in my decision?

rad law wrote: Also, keep in mind the Tampa and the FL market as a whole is a festering, putrid sewer. Going to either of the above will open up another market (Chi and ATL).


That sounds a little overblown. But regardless, I'm a family guy and love the area so that's where I want to be.

Thanks for the input.

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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby Grizz » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:28 pm

Mesqueunclub wrote:
rad law wrote: As a native Tampa, I'd lean Emory because they traditionally do pretty well in FL.


Do you think the difference in their FL (mainly Tampa) job prospects is big enough to play a major role in my decision?

rad law wrote: Also, keep in mind the Tampa and the FL market as a whole is a festering, putrid sewer. Going to either of the above will open up another market (Chi and ATL).


That sounds a little overblown. But regardless, I'm a family guy and love the area so that's where I want to be.

Thanks for the input.


Yeah, the difference may be marked. I know at least for what passes for Tampa biglaw, they aren't hiring a lot of UF people nowadays. They have their pick of native Floridians who went to more prestigious schools. I would think it's not gonna hurt you for midsize or smaller firms either.

I love Tampa too, but there are probably 20-25 2L SA spots in the whole city. H&K alone used to hire 15. This has a trickle down effect to smaller and midsize firms.

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Re: ND/Emory/UF/Stetson

Postby flcath » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:58 pm

Mesqueunclub wrote:
flcath wrote:If it were me personally, I'd take ELS > ND > UF, Stetson > W&M, IUB


My thoughts are almost exactly the same right now. Only difference is that it's more like ND=Emory since I still need to visit both and finish negotiations.

As for ND vs. ELS for Tampa, there's no hard proof either way. But ELS just plain does it more than ND, which at least says something. I also think that it makes a difference for Biglaw: a quick search of GT's site shows 27 ELS grads and only 11 NDLS grads (sidenote: you have to add the 2 who pop up when you select "Notre Dame Law School" to the 9 that pop up when you select "University of Notre Dame Law School," which I find really TTT and irritating).

If negotiations put some significant distance in between the 2 COA figures, then I'd say your decision could be made based on that. But ELS has a better record of negotiating scholarships than ND, as well, so I don't see that working out in our favor. Obviously, we'd love to have you at ND, and it's a beautiful school (in a city that's, uh, better than Gary) with a small tight-knit student body; I just would hate to see you having to move down to Tampa w/o a job lined up in 3 years b/c you graduated from ND .15 points below the median, and the only alumni connections you could find were at firms that couldn't possibly justify hiring you "with those grades."

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Mesqueunclub
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Re: ND/Emory/IUB/W&M/UF/Stetson

Postby Mesqueunclub » Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:01 pm

rad law wrote: Yeah, the difference may be marked. I know at least for what passes for Tampa biglaw, they aren't hiring a lot of UF people nowadays. They have their pick of native Floridians who went to more prestigious schools. I would think it's not gonna hurt you for midsize or smaller firms either.

I love Tampa too, but there are probably 20-25 2L SA spots in the whole city. H&K alone used to hire 15. This has a trickle down effect to smaller and midsize firms.


I get where you're coming from. The one biglaw partner I had a chance to talk to said basically the same thing. Kids they couldn't touch a couple years ago are coming back home due to the economic hits in the bigger markets, so those people are taking the jobs from the local schools. He told me that even the cutoff for ND/Emory would be something like top 30%. And I don't suffer from the delusion that I can reasonably say I'll be in that category as a 0L. I'm definitely not biglaw or bust, though, so not getting one of those spots won't be a crushing thing to deal with.

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Mesqueunclub
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Re: ND/Emory/UF/Stetson

Postby Mesqueunclub » Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:14 pm

flcath wrote: As for ND vs. ELS for Tampa, there's no hard proof either way. But ELS just plain does it more than ND, which at least says something. I also think that it makes a difference for Biglaw: a quick search of GT's site shows 27 ELS grads and only 11 NDLS grads (sidenote: you have to add the 2 who pop up when you select "Notre Dame Law School" to the 9 that pop up when you select "University of Notre Dame Law School," which I find really TTT and irritating).

If negotiations put some significant distance in between the 2 COA figures, then I'd say your decision could be made based on that. But ELS has a better record of negotiating scholarships than ND, as well, so I don't see that working out in our favor. Obviously, we'd love to have you at ND, and it's a beautiful school (in a city that's, uh, better than Gary) with a small tight-knit student body; I just would hate to see you having to move down to Tampa w/o a job lined up in 3 years b/c you graduated from ND .15 points below the median, and the only alumni connections you could find were at firms that couldn't possibly justify hiring you "with those grades."


Lol @ the bolded.

You've been a big help. To be honest, all things being equal I'm leaning ND right now. I'm not optimistic about the negotiations, but even a 2k/yr bump would be sweet at either school.

If I go there, I'll have to grab you a beer at one of the crazy nightlife spots packed with beautiful women that South Bend is famous for




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