Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

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evilsushi1
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby evilsushi1 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:04 am

Bildungsroman wrote:
evilsushi1 wrote:I get the feeling that a lot of posters in this thread stopped reading after $35k in debt from Texas and $150k in debt from Stanford...

The OP mentioned a preference for living in Austin which hasn't been addressed much. Even though the OP states he/she won't be living on campus I'm going to assume for the purposes of this post that he/she lives near campus. Stanford is a very insulated school; while it is well-maintained, beautiful, and clean (some might say sterile), it is also pretty quiet at night. Going out at night to grab dinner requires having to exit Stanford's huge campus probably by car to Palo Alto, which is very nice but also not the most exciting or affordable city. I think it's pretty safe to say Palo Alto is no Austin. Palo Alto would never embrace a "Keep Palo Alto Weird" slogan. A south bay real estate agent once told me some very interesting stories about how Palo Alto has tried various tactics to shield itself from the adjacent city East Palo Alto, which is, to put it lightly, less socioeconomically fortunate.

Also, I don't think the "Stanford is near SF" claim holds water. Stanford is also still a considerable distance from San Francisco, though my perspective may be slanted from living in Berkeley and how much more convenient it is to reach SF from Berkeley. The CalTrain station is a bit of a distance from the Stanford campus and during some parts of the day, there is only one train per hour. The CalTrain is also pretty slow, though to be fair, the BART and AC Transit aren't very fast either. But Berkeley is substantially closer to Berkeley and from UC Berkeley, there are a multitude of ways to get into the city, like from the Downtown Berkeley BART station, the Rockridge BART station, and the F or FS line bus. Also, parking in the city is not fun.

If you can't put up with a less engaging nightlife for 3 years then you're retarded.


OP turned down Harvard for quality of life issues, does that also make him/her retarded? I only brought location up because it seemed like it was part of the OP's equation. By no means is it the only factor. There are other parts which I didn't comment on like placement specifically into small law firms and public interest in AZ because it's not clear to me which school is better within that narrow range. For other things like biglaw it's much easier to see the difference. Frankly, I haven't seen much in this thread that actually makes a really good argument for either school in this respect and a lot of (currently) unsubstantiated claims have been thrown about.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:12 am

Stanford.

LRAP, national reach, superior chances for anything you'd want to do - except wear bolo ties, IMO.

anewaphorist
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby anewaphorist » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:17 am

Stanford. OP's case would demonstrate that there is a negative correlation between intelligence and LSAT score. Now I'm real worried about October 1.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:20 am

bk1 wrote:Final advice: OP you seem irrational and temperamental as fuck. You should go wherever you want to considering you seem like the kind of person who would do significantly worse at a place you prefer less.

+1

Harvard, Stanford, full ride at NU...why is UT even on this list?

But, you know, whatever. Have fun in Texas, OP. :?

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Lawquacious
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:57 am

I think you'll regret not going to Stanford OP. But then again, I have met a couple people who turned down graduate school at Stanford for less prestigious schools and seemed fine with it. In one case it was a relationship thing--a relationship that didn't last, but where the person still seemed happy with the choice of another top-10 program in that field. In the other case, it was that the other school's particular program was ranked higher and probably was objectively better, even though Stanford is way more prestigious overall.

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kwais
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby kwais » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:52 am

I feel the need to repeat what a bunch of smart people have already said. this is professional school not a fucking vacation. Who the fuck cares about fit or how much you like Austin. And 150 debt? You WILL pay that back at Stanford. Think of the next 30 years, not 3.

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sunynp
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby sunynp » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:15 am

You seem much more concerned about what the students are like, or what you in your very limited perception think they are like, then in going to the best school for your professional future. And, also the weather. You admitted you are intimidated by the Stanford students, probably you were intimidated by Harvard.
Just go to Texas because you decided you wanted to go there. But it isn't necessarily going to be easier for you than Harvard or Stanford.

Why are you even asking anyone else?

I'm sure you will enjoy being debt-free.

juliachild-ish
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby juliachild-ish » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:27 am

Not going to comment on the insults to my intelligence.

I mentioned that I prefer Austin as a location, but it's certainly not the deciding factor. Although, Austin does have an energy to it that Palo Alto lacks--many people call it the next Silicon Valley, and living there could be a way to easily connect with future movers and shakers. (The same could be said of Palo Alto, but I don't get the impression that the students mingle with professionals very much, and in Austin it's very easy for young people to meet other young people.)

bk1 wrote:Final advice: OP you seem irrational and temperamental as fuck. You should go wherever you want to considering you seem like the kind of person who would do significantly worse at a place you prefer less.


I'm not sure how I'm being irrational. I think the irrational thing to do would have been to have a kneejerk reaction upon getting into Stanford: OMG Stanford PRESTIGE must go, that kind of thing. Instead, I am rationally trying to think about the costs and benefits of each school for what I want in my career, and running out best- and worst-case scenarios for each school.

Perhaps I should have mentioned again that my parents have both been practicing law in Phoenix for 35 years and have many connections in both the public and private legal fields. So I have that boost regardless of which school I go to. Also, I wonder how many people are actually familiar with the AZ market. It's dominated by ASU and UofA grads (not many T-14 grads want to live there), and even Texas grads (if they have local ties) are considered impressive and prestigious compared to graduates from the local schools. Obviously, Stanford grads are even more impressive, but I'm not sure the gap is as big as it is in markets that have lots of graduates from top schools.

Stanford best-case: I do really well and get a fabulous and interesting PI job that I would never have been able to get from UT, qualify for LRAP, and live happily ever after.

Stanford worst-case: I end up at the bottom of the class (definitely possible) and can't get any PI jobs. I am stuck in a small/mid-size firm with a huge amount of debt.

Texas best-case: I am at the top of the class and can get a moderately interesting clerkship, PI job, or small firm job. I have virtually no debt to pay off, and can get started on buying a house, starting a family, etc.

Texas worst-case: I end up somewhere in the middle of the class and am either stuck working in a small/mid-size firm in Texas (not a terrible thing, in my mind, but not ideal) or I switch careers, only out $35k (at the most), and having spent three years living in a fun, interesting place.

What about these scenarios is irrational? It's a gamble either way, since I can't predict with certainty how I'll do at either school. I am trying to decide which gamble is safer. Obviously, the best-case scenario at Stanford is better than the one at Texas, but the worst-case scenario at Stanford is also worse than the one at Texas. Is it worth the risk for a potentially higher payoff? That is what I am rationally trying to decide.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby BruceWayne » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:41 am

juliachild-ish wrote:Stanford worst-case: I end up at the bottom of the class (definitely possible) and can't get any PI jobs. I am stuck in a small/mid-size firm with a huge amount of debt.

Texas best-case: I am at the top of the class and can get a moderately interesting clerkship, PI job, or small firm job. I have virtually no debt to pay off, and can get started on buying a house, starting a family, etc.

Texas worst-case: I end up somewhere in the middle of the class and am either stuck working in a small/mid-size firm in Texas (not a terrible thing, in my mind, but not ideal) or I switch careers, only out $35k (at the most), and having spent three years living in a fun, interesting place.



LOL what? So the worst case SLS scenario is bottom of the class but bottom of the class isn't possible for UTexas? If you get bottom of the class at UTexas (which is just as likely as you getting bottom of the class at SLS) you will struggle mightily to get a job of any kind. If you get bottom of the class at SLS, people won't be able to tell. Since they do that weird HP, P grading system (with no mandatory LP like at HLS) everyone can get a decent job. Employers won't know what your class rank is once it gets to median and below. Median and bottom of the class look the same at Stanford (at least from what I've heard people say). If you go to Stanford you will definitely be able to get a PI job--period. That's all there is to it.

juliachild-ish
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby juliachild-ish » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:57 am

BruceWayne wrote:LOL what? So the worst case SLS scenario is bottom of the class but bottom of the class isn't possible for UTexas? If you get bottom of the class at UTexas (which is just as likely as you getting bottom of the class at SLS) you will struggle mightily to get a job of any kind. If you get bottom of the class at SLS, people won't be able to tell. Since they do that weird HP, P grading system (with no mandatory LP like at HLS) everyone can get a decent job. Employers won't know what your class rank is once it gets to median and below. Median and bottom of the class look the same at Stanford (at least from what I've heard people say). If you go to Stanford you will definitely be able to get a PI job--period. That's all there is to it.


I seriously doubt that getting bottom of the class is equally likely at Texas and Stanford. I met some of the kids who were at the bottom of the class at Texas and they literally did not go to class. I think if I try at Texas, it is almost impossible to end up at the bottom of the class (though it is very possible to end up somewhere in the middle), whereas I'm sure even the kids at the bottom of the Stanford class worked hard.

Your point about Stanford's grading system is fair, though I have heard of students getting Stanford's equivalent of a LP (they call it RK or something like that). Even students who worked hard. And I think you may be overestimating how easy it is to get a PI job. PI jobs are generally much more difficult to obtain than big law jobs. You do need to be near the top of the class at any school to land a PI job--both Harvard and Stanford students have told me this is the case. So, it may not be easy for employers to tell whether I'm in the middle or bottom of the class at Stanford--but they will be able to tell I'm not at the top, and that's what really matters.

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sunynp
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby sunynp » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:00 am

OP has already turned down Harvard and NU for superficial reasons. She can just add Stanford to the list. With OP's connections it may not matter where she goes as her parents can get her a job. Can't her parents pay for Stanford though? Confused by the whole decision process, but OP will end up at Texas because she thinks the students there will be easier to compete against, she likes the weather and she won't owe much.

edit:
I mentioned that I prefer Austin as a location, but it's certainly not the deciding factor. Although, Austin does have an energy to it that Palo Alto lacks--many people call it the next Silicon Valley, and living there could be a way to easily connect with future movers and shakers. (The same could be said of Palo Alto, but I don't get the impression that the students mingle with professionals very much, and in Austin it's very easy for young people to meet other young people.)

OP - if you were concerned about meeting "future movers and shakers" you should have gone to Harvard. You are all over the place with your posts and it makes it difficult. What do you want?
Last edited by sunynp on Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

abl
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby abl » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:26 am

Stanford is a 40 minute drive, or--most days--about a 50 minute Caltrain ride from SF. Some students live in SF their 1L and 2L years and many students live in SF their 3L year. If OP is living off campus, in Palo Alto, OP can easily find a place w/in walking distance of the Caltrain if this is important to the OP (there are two Palo Alto Caltrain stops, both in affordable--for Palo Alto--residential areas).

IMO the cost shouldn't be a concern. Even with narrow geographical preferences, OP should be able to find either a public interest job (in which case LRAP kicks in) or a firm job (in which case the money isn't going to matter much) in his/her desired area. OP--I am a rising 3L at SLS and everyone in my class who wanted big law got it. Also, everyone in my class who wanted PI got it in his or her desired location. Even if your goal is to go to a smaller or more insular market, you will be able to do that much more easily out of SLS than UT. There really is just no concern of getting stuck in small/midlaw out of SLS.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby BruceWayne » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:31 am

juliachild-ish wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:LOL what? So the worst case SLS scenario is bottom of the class but bottom of the class isn't possible for UTexas? If you get bottom of the class at UTexas (which is just as likely as you getting bottom of the class at SLS) you will struggle mightily to get a job of any kind. If you get bottom of the class at SLS, people won't be able to tell. Since they do that weird HP, P grading system (with no mandatory LP like at HLS) everyone can get a decent job. Employers won't know what your class rank is once it gets to median and below. Median and bottom of the class look the same at Stanford (at least from what I've heard people say). If you go to Stanford you will definitely be able to get a PI job--period. That's all there is to it.


I seriously doubt that getting bottom of the class is equally likely at Texas and Stanford. I met some of the kids who were at the bottom of the class at Texas and they literally did not go to class. I think if I try at Texas, it is almost impossible to end up at the bottom of the class (though it is very possible to end up somewhere in the middle), whereas I'm sure even the kids at the bottom of the Stanford class worked hard.

Your point about Stanford's grading system is fair, though I have heard of students getting Stanford's equivalent of a LP (they call it RK or something like that). Even students who worked hard. And I think you may be overestimating how easy it is to get a PI job. PI jobs are generally much more difficult to obtain than big law jobs. You do need to be near the top of the class at any school to land a PI job--both Harvard and Stanford students have told me this is the case. So, it may not be easy for employers to tell whether I'm in the middle or bottom of the class at Stanford--but they will be able to tell I'm not at the top, and that's what really matters.



What the hell are you talking about? You've been on this website way too much.

1. That you think it's "almost impossible" to land at the bottom of the class at UTexas but not at Stanford is ridiculous and elitist. There entering numbers (as measured by LSAT and GPA) really aren't that far apart. Further, LSAT and GPA are not that great at predicting law school success. In addition, I assure you that there are people working extremely hard who are at the bottom of the class at UTexas. That you think that the bottom of the class is exclusively filled with people who don't go to class, really signals that you're an 0L.

2. "You need to be near the top of the class at any school to land a PI job" are you serious? That's total garbage; a lot of PI employers don't even ask for transcripts. Yes they can be difficult to get, but not necessarily based on grades. They care about things like: a demonstrated commitment to PI, interpersonal skills, clinical experience, extracurriculars, community service, and references. Frankly, with a comment like "you need to be at the top of the class for PI" I can tell that you've been gleaning a lot of your info from the group think mantra that pervades this website. About the only PI employers that will require you to be at the top of the class are one's like the DOJ and SEC, which really have more similarities to biglaw than they do other PI orgs. Now if that's what you want then that's another story (and in that case it's Stanford all of the way. DOJ will have a much harder time using there strict grade cutoffs on a student from SLS than a UT one. They won't know what the heck a top 1/3 transcript from SLS looks like; they'll just have to guess and assume a few H's means a high rank. But at UT, with their traditional 4.0 GPA scale, they can easily determine exactly what your class rank is--and reject you accordingly. But if you're talking about most PI jobs then no, you do not have to be at the top of your class to be employed there.

abl
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby abl » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:40 am

Juliachild--you know people who got LPs at Stanford? I'm doubtful. My understanding is that the grade has only been given out a total of 2-3 times since SLS switched to the new grading system several years ago (I'm not even sure if it's called an RK anymore or if it's called an LP now). One professor at SLS is famous for telling a story of the one LP he's ever given out (incidentally before the grading system switch), which was to a student who literally wrote "I cannot do this" or something similar on his exam and turned it in. And, still, the professor did not want to give him a low pass; the Dean apparently made him. My understanding of LPs at Stanford is that you really, really have to earn them.


OP--the worst case scenario at Stanford is that you graduate with straight Ps, haven't done any extracurricular to stand out, have no professors willing to make recommendations on your behalf, and in that scenario you're still likely to end up in PI in the Phoenix market, if that's what you desire. The several people who I know in the above situation in my class at SLS (who got their jobs in what is likely to be a worse job market than what you're going to be searching for jobs in) STILL got biglaw jobs/PI jobs in the market of their choice, even without connections. Sure, they had to hustle a bit more than the average student, but I cannot think of a single person who didn't get something in the ballpark of what they were looking for. You sound like you're together enough and have enough drive that at the very least you'll have some extracurricular on your resume--even if you have straight Ps--and combined with your connections, I can't see you having problems getting a Phoenix job of your choice out of SLS, even with all or mostly Ps, if that's what you're aiming for.

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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby abl » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:42 am

To follow up on Bruce Wayne's post, I can vouch that he's correct that PI employers don't really care about your grades much (out of SLS at least). Your getting a PI job will be based more on your extracurriculars than your grades, and that's something that, at least at SLS, you can almost entirely control. You can join journals as a 1L and there is no write-on requirement, so you will be able to have that valuable experience in the specialty journal of your choice at the point that you're applying to PI jobs even for your 1L summer.

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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby juliachild-ish » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:57 am

abl wrote:Stanford is a 40 minute drive, or--most days--about a 50 minute Caltrain ride from SF. Some students live in SF their 1L and 2L years and many students live in SF their 3L year. If OP is living off campus, in Palo Alto, OP can easily find a place w/in walking distance of the Caltrain if this is important to the OP (there are two Palo Alto Caltrain stops, both in affordable--for Palo Alto--residential areas).

IMO the cost shouldn't be a concern. Even with narrow geographical preferences, OP should be able to find either a public interest job (in which case LRAP kicks in) or a firm job (in which case the money isn't going to matter much) in his/her desired area. OP--I am a rising 3L at SLS and everyone in my class who wanted big law got it. Also, everyone in my class who wanted PI got it in his or her desired location. Even if your goal is to go to a smaller or more insular market, you will be able to do that much more easily out of SLS than UT. There really is just no concern of getting stuck in small/midlaw out of SLS.


Palo Alto as a location doesn't have much impact on the decision for me (and to be honest, I wouldn't even be living there--I've been looking, and it seems like the only places I can afford/that allow large dogs are in Redwood City or Mountain View, or maybe East Palo Alto). But it's nice to know I could get into the city if I wanted to.

I am more interested to hear you say that everyone who wanted PI got it. That's very reassuring (although it does contradict what I was told by another rising 3L that the admissions office put me in touch with).

abl and BruceWayne, the impression I had that PI jobs are very difficult to get was not based on anything I read on this site. It's mostly based on conversations I had at Harvard's ASW and with three Stanford students that the admissions office put me in touch with. One of the Harvard students told me that many of the PI positions she applied for had 500-600 applicants (for one position) and a few others agreed that a lot of students end up settling for big law (even though they had initially said they wanted PI) because it was much easier to find than PI and because they wanted to quickly pay off their debt. I guess I assumed that who gets the competitive jobs was determined by grades, but I believe you if you say it has more to do with other factors.

I just don't want the debt to push me into a career path that I have no interest in, you know? That's my biggest fear and the thing that's stopping me from pulling the trigger on Stanford.

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sunynp
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby sunynp » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:13 am

I just don't want the debt to push me into a career path that I have no interest in, you know? That's my biggest fear and the thing that's stopping me from pulling the trigger on Stanford.


Then go to Texas- you have answered your question for yourself.

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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby Stoic » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:24 am

Just go to Texas. Sounds like that's what you want to do and you sound like you have it all figured out. I'm assuming you knew everything everyone else has said before coming into this thread. Therefore, little of it could've changed your mind. If you're still thinking about Texas at this point then go there. Because you're making these best/worst case scenarios but you already turned down Harvard and if you replaced Harvard with Stanford in your comparisons the same scenarios would play out, more or less.

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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby Army2Law » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:44 am

Being from the southwest, I think that the majority of the other posters in this thread are seriously underestimating how well a UT degree travels within the region. Yes, Stanford is more prestigious, but if the OP wants to go to Arizona, a degree from Texas will not hold her back. I also find it amusing how debt adverse this board usually is until someone gets into ZOMFG HYS. Debt is debt. 150k is going to be a bitch to pay off even with biglaw money. 35k is much more manageable and it's not like Texas is a shitty school that can't place its graduates into jobs. The Texas economy is also much more robust than the California economy and Texas has a strong national alumni network.
OP, you don't want to be saddled with suffocating debt and you prefer seem to prefer Austin to Palo Alto, ignore what the TLS intelligentsia howl about and do what makes you happy.

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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby BruceWayne » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:54 am

Army2Law wrote:Being from the southwest, I think that the majority of the other posters in this thread are seriously underestimating how well a UT degree travels within the region. Yes, Stanford is more prestigious, but if the OP wants to go to Arizona, a degree from Texas will not hold her back. I also find it amusing how debt adverse this board usually is until someone gets into ZOMFG HYS. Debt is debt. 150k is going to be a bitch to pay off even with biglaw money. 35k is much more manageable and it's not like Texas is a shitty school that can't place its graduates into jobs. The Texas economy is also much more robust than the California economy and Texas has a strong national alumni network.
OP, you don't want to be saddled with suffocating debt and you prefer seem to prefer Austin to Palo Alto, ignore what the TLS intelligentsia howl about and do what makes you happy.



I'm not saying that at all. And I don't doubt that this is true at all. The thing is that a lot of the premises/assumptions that OP is using to say that UT is the better choice, are downright wrong (excluding the cost factor). Further, the gap between the two schools we're discussing is so large that it's worth considering SLS even at sticker vs. UT free. I mean I hate to sound like I'm bashing UT, but do you realize that going to SLS means that you will get a good job period? In other words guaranteed. Whereas getting one from UT in this climate is, I hate to say this, about 50/50 maybe even less? That's a big damn difference. Further, you say that 150K is a bitch to pay off even with biglaw money, but OP says that he/she wants PI. PI with SLS LRAP is basically the same as a full scholarship; in other words it's still probably a better idea than UT for free. About the only situation where I could see UT being hands down better would be for working PI in Texas. But, ironically enough, the OP hasn't mentioned working Texas PI as his/her goal.

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daesonesb
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby daesonesb » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:01 pm

At the end of the day, if OP loves austin, and would love to work in Texas, then go to UT. Your life will be much less stressful knowing you have relatively very little debt. Also, you clearly prefer that area over CA.

The obvious reasons to pick stanford over UT are: biglaw chances, academia chances, clerkship chances, and highly prestigious PI chances (as in the ACLU or something). That being said, you may end up doing a lot better at UT, given that you are a much stronger candidate at that school. I don't know what the diff between top 25% at UT vs. below median at Stanford would be, but that is worth considering too.

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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby abl » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:17 pm

The difference between SLS and UT students is not so great that OP will necessarily do better at UT relative to SLS. That would be a poor reason to choose UT.

Career-wise, the difference isn't only pronounced with prestigious PI. In this economy most PI is competitive, and there is no guarantee that OP will find a PI job out of UT. There basically is a guarantee for SLS. OP--where and what sort of PI jobs were the SLS students you spoke with seeking? You'll always find someone at SLS shooting for the next "most prestigious" position, and I think if you were to examine more carefully what specific positions they were applying for, you'd be surprised at how relatively competitive they were. Like I said, I am a rising 3L who has done public interest both summers, in two different markets (neither of which I had any connection to). My experience applying for a bunch of positions each summer is that coming out of SLS you are virtually guaranteed something. That doesn't mean that you won't have to hustle for the positions, but like I've repeatedly said, I do not know a single person out of SLS who wanted a PI position who did not get one. Did everyone get a Skadden fellowship? Obviously, no. But it's not like people are out of work or doing biglaw b/c they couldn't get PI either. SLS's grading system is actually uniquely suited to those who want to do PI--it gives employers a very rough idea of where you fall in the class (which is all even the competitive, grade-conscious PI orgs care about) while taking a lot of the stress of classwork off of students who want to focus on extracurriculars. It is the ECs that really make the difference for PI jobs, so you can do relatively little classwork at SLS without "looking" like a slacker, thus giving yourself far more time to focus on building a PI resume.

Look, UT is a great school. I in no way mean to demean the school. And, I'm sure that your career possibilities coming out of UT will be very good, especially if you want to stay in the Texas-Southeast-Southwest region. However, the opportunities you will have out of Texas just aren't the same as what you will get from SLS. The debt really doesn't matter--at SLS you are basically assured of the career that you want. If that career is public interest, then SLS--unlike UT--will be free (with the LRAP). If that career turns out to be biglaw, you are assured of biglaw and $150k debt is pretty easy to do when you're making $160k+/year. Will it be so easy as to require no thought on your part? No, of course not! But, it's not going to be a constraint in your life either. I know debt is scary, but don't get fixated on the debt. This is your career we're talking about--what you're going to be doing every day (for probably 8-10 hours each day) for the rest of your life. Given that money and debt will not be an issue for you at SLS whether you go into PI or biglaw, why not go to the school that's going to maximize your chances of getting the positions and career that you will find the most rewarding? I don't think anyone on this board is going to argue that there is not a significant difference between SLS and UT in what career possibilities--biglaw OR PI--that will be available to you. That's not to say that UT isn't fantastic and won't provide you with many good career opportunities. It's just that SLS will open far more doors, even in the southwest.

juliachild-ish
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:34 pm

Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby juliachild-ish » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:09 pm

abl wrote:The difference between SLS and UT students is not so great that OP will necessarily do better at UT relative to SLS. That would be a poor reason to choose UT.

Career-wise, the difference isn't only pronounced with prestigious PI. In this economy most PI is competitive, and there is no guarantee that OP will find a PI job out of UT. There basically is a guarantee for SLS. OP--where and what sort of PI jobs were the SLS students you spoke with seeking? You'll always find someone at SLS shooting for the next "most prestigious" position, and I think if you were to examine more carefully what specific positions they were applying for, you'd be surprised at how relatively competitive they were. Like I said, I am a rising 3L who has done public interest both summers, in two different markets (neither of which I had any connection to). My experience applying for a bunch of positions each summer is that coming out of SLS you are virtually guaranteed something. That doesn't mean that you won't have to hustle for the positions, but like I've repeatedly said, I do not know a single person out of SLS who wanted a PI position who did not get one. Did everyone get a Skadden fellowship? Obviously, no. But it's not like people are out of work or doing biglaw b/c they couldn't get PI either. SLS's grading system is actually uniquely suited to those who want to do PI--it gives employers a very rough idea of where you fall in the class (which is all even the competitive, grade-conscious PI orgs care about) while taking a lot of the stress of classwork off of students who want to focus on extracurriculars. It is the ECs that really make the difference for PI jobs, so you can do relatively little classwork at SLS without "looking" like a slacker, thus giving yourself far more time to focus on building a PI resume.

Look, UT is a great school. I in no way mean to demean the school. And, I'm sure that your career possibilities coming out of UT will be very good, especially if you want to stay in the Texas-Southeast-Southwest region. However, the opportunities you will have out of Texas just aren't the same as what you will get from SLS. The debt really doesn't matter--at SLS you are basically assured of the career that you want. If that career is public interest, then SLS--unlike UT--will be free (with the LRAP). If that career turns out to be biglaw, you are assured of biglaw and $150k debt is pretty easy to do when you're making $160k+/year. Will it be so easy as to require no thought on your part? No, of course not! But, it's not going to be a constraint in your life either. I know debt is scary, but don't get fixated on the debt. This is your career we're talking about--what you're going to be doing every day (for probably 8-10 hours each day) for the rest of your life. Given that money and debt will not be an issue for you at SLS whether you go into PI or biglaw, why not go to the school that's going to maximize your chances of getting the positions and career that you will find the most rewarding? I don't think anyone on this board is going to argue that there is not a significant difference between SLS and UT in what career possibilities--biglaw OR PI--that will be available to you. That's not to say that UT isn't fantastic and won't provide you with many good career opportunities. It's just that SLS will open far more doors, even in the southwest.


Thanks, abl, for a thoughtful and helpful response. That's the kind of thing I needed to hear. And the SLS students I talked to didn't mention exactly what positions they were going for, but I could easily believe they were the exception rather than the norm. I am definitely leaning towards Stanford--I just needed a couple more people who actually know what they're talking about to reassure me that the debt will be worth it.

evilsushi1
Posts: 7
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby evilsushi1 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:19 pm

abl wrote:

If that career turns out to be biglaw, you are assured of biglaw and $150k debt is pretty easy to do when you're making $160k+/year.


I'm not really sure this is relevant since the OP has stated she does not want to be forced into biglaw. Even if it is, based on 2008 information from the SLS website, the members of the class of 2008 that chose to work in the West (AK, AZ, CO, ID, HI, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY) made between $80,000-$120,000 with the median being $120,000. I'm not sure if this means that the biglaw firms pay $40k less than their counterparts in other parts of the country or if all the graduates who went to work in the West chose small/mid-size firms. Maybe it's a wash after factoring in cost of living but we're probably not looking at $160k. As an SLS student I'm sure you have access to better and more recent data, so feel free to correct me...

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rinkrat19
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Re: Stanford sticker vs. UTexas full-ride w/ two days to decide

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:35 pm

evilsushi1 wrote:
abl wrote:

If that career turns out to be biglaw, you are assured of biglaw and $150k debt is pretty easy to do when you're making $160k+/year.


I'm not really sure this is relevant since the OP has stated she does not want to be forced into biglaw. Even if it is, based on 2008 information from the SLS website, the members of the class of 2008 that chose to work in the West (AK, AZ, CO, ID, HI, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY) made between $80,000-$120,000 with the median being $120,000. I'm not sure if this means that the biglaw firms pay $40k less than their counterparts in other parts of the country or if all the graduates who went to work in the West chose small/mid-size firms. Maybe it's a wash after factoring in cost of living but we're probably not looking at $160k. As an SLS student I'm sure you have access to better and more recent data, so feel free to correct me...

Employment info on school websites is a terrible source of info (even for Stanford). But yes, biglaw (such as it is) in those markets makes considerably less than $160K. Portland, for example, pays $90K-$120 in most cases. I would imagine most of those markets you listed (except possibly AZ and HI) make even less.




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