So it’s time for me to make a decision (kinda). First, a bit about me: I am from the South/Midwest. I have big issues with the south and southern culture and would like to go to law school somewhere that is a large urban city that is diverse. I have ZERO debt from UG due to a very generous national merit scholarship. I intend on going into PI law, working for the government, a non-profit, etc. I am highly interested in human rights law, social justice, and public policy. That being said, I fully intend to take advantage of my school’s LRAP, but my main focus is entering the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that wipes your debt after 10 years working in a qualifying PI job. I am not terribly interested in Big Law, but if my grades give me the opportunity, then I may do it for 2 years or so and aggressively pay down debt and then enter PI and manage the rest via LRAP or PSLF. My dream markets are DC and Chicago. I spent a summer in DC interning on the hill and absolutely loved the city and could see myself living/working there.
Also before anyone says, retake and reapply, I really don’t want to take another year off. I know it’s sacrificing opportunities, but I don’t think I could stand another year in limbo.
Estimated COA: $160,992
Pros: I have yet to visit, but I’ve heard nothing but great things about Nashville and Vanderbilt. The school has a pretty great reputation and from the tons of viewbooks they sent, their facilities and faculty look top notch.
Cons: It’s in Tennessee, which no offense to anyone, I consider a lateral movement from Oklahoma, not an improvement. Their LRAP is abysmal: if you make over $50,000 they only pay 20%. If you make under $34,000 they only pay 50%.
Estimated COA: $107,000
Pros: Visited Madison and I really like it. I have good friends in Madison and the general region. I really enjoyed the school and the opportunities available (i.e. interning with the state supreme court that’s within walking distance of school). The so-called “Wisconsin Idea” really resonates with me.
Cons: Now are the levels of opportunities worth sacrificing the prestige/opportunities of Vandy?
So those are my current acceptances. However, I am on 8 wait lists and waiting for 3 more decisions (expecting three WLs, though I think I should be in at WUSTL)
Currently wait listed at:
Penn (sent LOCI)
Berkeley (will find out on May 1st what quartile I’m in)
GULC (Special group on preferred wait list. Have sent an LOCI)
Of these schools I’m most interested in pursuing GULC, Penn, NYU, Northwestern, and Michigan. I have little to no interest in Duke or UVA.
I’m already pretty dead set on taking GULC, presumably at sticker, if I get off the WL.
TL;DR: Options are Vandy with $45k, Wisconsin with $59k, GW at sticker or riding out a bunch of T-14 wait lists. Goal markets are DC or Chicago for PI work. Will take GULC if I get in of SPWL.
Any input would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the novella, btw.
ETA: I was accepted at Northwestern and dinged at NYU, bringing my initial cycle to a close.
In one of my preferred markets already
I love Chicago
Cost would be $220,000 or so at sticker price