George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

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Florida or George Mason Law?

University of Florida (Levin)
22
88%
George Mason
3
12%
 
Total votes: 25

YoPro
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George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby YoPro » Thu May 12, 2011 11:04 am

This is my first post, and I really need help.

Basically I've narrowed it down to two potential law schools for this fall, George Mason (where I'd be getting in-state) and Florida (where I'd be OOS for the first year, but the admissions office has suggested that most people get in-state for their 2nd and 3rd years). This puts 3 years of tuition at both schools at about the same price. Cost of living is not a major consideration.

I'm very divided, because I love Florida, and I don't love DC/Northern Virginia, although I have lived in both places and have ties to both. Florida law students seem very happy overall (as far as law students go) while I've heard some negative things about the GM student body. However, I'm having trouble getting past the feeling that GM grads go on to more/better opportunities on average, and have more mobility in the long run (UF on the other hand does not seem to have any mobility outside of FL, although when you already live in sunny Florida, do you really need it?).

To give some perspective, my goals are to work in the private sector, either for a business or for a firm. Areas of interest for me are corporate law, tax law, healthcare law, intellectual property/patents, mergers and acquisitions and international law. I'm not interested in practicing litigation or criminal law, and I'm not particularly interested in public interest or government work.

Also, I saw that there's already a GM vs Florida thread floating around out there, but in that thread the OP was in-state at FL, which affected the advice he was given enough that it didn't really help me. Thanks in advance for any help or words of advice!

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kwais
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Re: George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby kwais » Thu May 12, 2011 11:10 am

My vote goes to UF (my UG). At same price, go to the best school in its (admittedly weak) market, instead of a school in an over-saturated, competitive market. Get used to the idea of living in Florida long-term, stay for the tax llm and (maybe) profit. Also, COL in Gville is a joke.

YoPro
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Re: George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby YoPro » Fri May 13, 2011 7:36 pm

Thank you for the advice, Kwais. I had thought up until now though that the Florida legal market is also relatively saturated, maybe not to DC levels, but with three decent law schools and a few extras feeding into the system, I would think it would be as tough as anywhere to find a job outside of low paying work. Or am I wrong?

Anyways, is there anyone else out there that has an opinion on this??

gator89
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Re: George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby gator89 » Fri May 13, 2011 8:59 pm

might be saturated, but in the end UF > all other florida schools.

thewarflamingo
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Postby thewarflamingo » Sun May 15, 2011 10:38 am

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Last edited by thewarflamingo on Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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TTH
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Re: George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby TTH » Sun May 15, 2011 10:42 am

Florida.

And if you get a job in FL, rock out on no state income tax.

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northwood
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Re: George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby northwood » Sun May 15, 2011 10:43 am

YOu love Florida and dont love Northern VA and the DC area? Go to UF.

mrwarre85
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Re: George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby mrwarre85 » Sun May 15, 2011 1:00 pm

gator89 wrote:might be saturated, but in the end UF > all other florida schools.


IDK. Florida is the bigger law school. Top 25% at UF is not going to automatically get the job over top 25% at FSU unless the firm is full of UF grads who are very loyal. Having a larger alumni base is definitely a plus, though.

duckmoney
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Re: George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby duckmoney » Sun May 15, 2011 1:07 pm

It sounds like Florida is the right option between the two schools, but I wouldn't go into debt for a UF law degree. UF grads are struggling right now to get jobs at all, even people at the top of the class. The Florida legal market is so small right now that people who have ties to Florida and go to T-14 schools are coming back to Florida and taking jobs from UF grads.

UF is not a good place to be right now. Please seriously consider what you want to do and what your realistic chances of doing it are from UF, and what your chances of paying back your debt will be.

Disclaimer: UF grad, have numerous friends in law school at UF. I'm going to CCN in the fall and plan to return to Florida.

GatorStudent
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Re: George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby GatorStudent » Sun May 15, 2011 1:14 pm

YoPro wrote:Thank you for the advice, Kwais. I had thought up until now though that the Florida legal market is also relatively saturated, maybe not to DC levels, but with three decent law schools and a few extras feeding into the system, I would think it would be as tough as anywhere to find a job outside of low paying work. Or am I wrong?

Anyways, is there anyone else out there that has an opinion on this??


Florida's legal market is indeed saturated, but not to DC levels.

GatorStudent
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Re: George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby GatorStudent » Sun May 15, 2011 1:17 pm

duckmoney wrote:It sounds like Florida is the right option between the two schools, but I wouldn't go into debt for a UF law degree. UF grads are struggling right now to get jobs at all, even people at the top of the class. The Florida legal market is so small right now that people who have ties to Florida and go to T-14 schools are coming back to Florida and taking jobs from UF grads.

UF is not a good place to be right now. Please seriously consider what you want to do and what your realistic chances of doing it are from UF, and what your chances of paying back your debt will be.

Disclaimer: UF grad, have numerous friends in law school at UF. I'm going to CCN in the fall and plan to return to Florida.


This is extremely credited. If I were you, I wouldn't go too far into debt by going to UF. I am a lucky 3L who got a job, but I "barely" got one despite very good grades and extracurriculars. Most 0L's don't realize how bad it is out there, even at "decent" regional schools.

GatorStudent
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Re: George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby GatorStudent » Sun May 15, 2011 1:21 pm

mrwarre85 wrote:
IDK. Florida is the bigger law school. Top 25% at UF is not going to automatically get the job over top 25% at FSU unless the firm is full of UF grads who are very loyal. Having a larger alumni base is definitely a plus, though.


I don't want to get into an argument over this (as FSU is a solid school), but nobody is saying that top 25% at UF "automatically" gets a job over a top 25% student at FSU. However, all things being equal, generally a UF student is more likely to get a legal job in a region of FL than a FSU grad. Of course, we're talking about probabilities, not certainties, and we could quibble about the precise numbers (e.g., whether a UF graduate is 25% more likely v. "only" 10%).

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby FeelTheHeat » Sun May 15, 2011 1:24 pm

Anyways, UF, OP. Both schools are going to get you a job in the area they are in, and you like Florida more.

You're definitely committed to going this year, right?

EDIT: Not in an arguing mood, got enough on my hands defending the Heat lol
Last edited by FeelTheHeat on Sun May 15, 2011 1:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

mrwarre85
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Re: George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby mrwarre85 » Sun May 15, 2011 1:24 pm

GatorStudent wrote:
mrwarre85 wrote:
IDK. Florida is the bigger law school. Top 25% at UF is not going to automatically get the job over top 25% at FSU unless the firm is full of UF grads who are very loyal. Having a larger alumni base is definitely a plus, though.


I don't want to get into an argument over this (as FSU is a solid school), but nobody is saying that top 25% at UF "automatically" gets a job over a top 25% student at FSU. However, all things being equal, generally a UF student is more likely to get a legal job in a region of FL than a FSU grad. Of course, we're talking about probabilities, not certainties, and we could quibble about the precise numbers (e.g., whether a UF graduate is 25% more likely v. "only" 10%).


Agreed.

YoPro
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Re: George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby YoPro » Tue May 17, 2011 6:14 pm

FeelTheHeat wrote:Anyways, UF, OP. Both schools are going to get you a job in the area they are in, and you like Florida more.

You're definitely committed to going this year, right?

EDIT: Not in an arguing mood, got enough on my hands defending the Heat lol


Yup, I am committed - placed my deposit yesterday at UF. I was leaning toward Florida anyway, but the overwhelming consensus on this thread that UF was the way to go definitely made me feel better about the decision to attend UF. So now, assuming I don't have a personal crisis and decide to ditch law school last minute (or get into one of my WL's), Levin it is.

GatorStudent wrote:
duckmoney wrote:It sounds like Florida is the right option between the two schools, but I wouldn't go into debt for a UF law degree. UF grads are struggling right now to get jobs at all, even people at the top of the class. The Florida legal market is so small right now that people who have ties to Florida and go to T-14 schools are coming back to Florida and taking jobs from UF grads.

UF is not a good place to be right now. Please seriously consider what you want to do and what your realistic chances of doing it are from UF, and what your chances of paying back your debt will be.

Disclaimer: UF grad, have numerous friends in law school at UF. I'm going to CCN in the fall and plan to return to Florida.


This is extremely credited. If I were you, I wouldn't go too far into debt by going to UF. I am a lucky 3L who got a job, but I "barely" got one despite very good grades and extracurriculars. Most 0L's don't realize how bad it is out there, even at "decent" regional schools.


Gatorstudent, can you give me an idea of where the margins in class rank among your class appear to be, where a graduate would a) have nothing to worry about when it comes to getting a job, and b) find it almost impossible to get a job? For example, do you have to be in the top 10 percent to be confidant in having a job waiting for you versus top 20 percent? Alternatively, where would the highest percentile ranking in the class be where you'd still be SOL for finding a job, given no convenient connections?

GatorStudent
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Re: George Mason vs Florida... Deposits due Monday, HELP!!!

Postby GatorStudent » Tue May 17, 2011 9:13 pm

YoPro wrote:Gatorstudent, can you give me an idea of where the margins in class rank among your class appear to be, where a graduate would a) have nothing to worry about when it comes to getting a job, and b) find it almost impossible to get a job? For example, do you have to be in the top 10 percent to be confidant in having a job waiting for you versus top 20 percent? Alternatively, where would the highest percentile ranking in the class be where you'd still be SOL for finding a job, given no convenient connections?


Well, first, the economy is REALLY bad right now. The same goes for the legal economy, although it seems to be getting better in Florida. I don't think many prospective students (or practicing attorneys) really understand how hard it was to land a job out there. I think your class (and future classes) will have a more rosy outlook, so I don't know how much my information will help you. I know quite a few people in the top 10% who struggled to find jobs, and even then, they did NOT land biglaw jobs. And these people were not "socially awkward."

Second, it's very difficult to give "margins," especially because of the economy. I know many people in the top 20% or so, and many of them have a job (whether it is with a biglaw firm or federal judge, or a state/federal clerkship). However, after that, it seems that many people haven't found anything. It does seem, though, that hiring has been picking up since the beginning of this year.

I wish I could give you firmer figures, but this is an unusual time in the legal economy. Even in a good economy, it's tough to predict.




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