URGENT: USC vs. UF

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USC vs. UF

Poll ended at Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:35 pm

USC w/15k scholly ($34k a year)
30
68%
UF w/6k scholly ($12k a year)
14
32%
 
Total votes: 44

blumpkin
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URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby blumpkin » Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:35 pm

So here's my story:

I was set to go in-state to UF Law with a $6k scholly per year, 3.2 GPA stipulation. I'm actually currently in Gainesville getting ready to attend orientation on Monday.

However, today I just got off the waitlist at USC Law and they offered me a $15k scholly per year with no stipulations.

If I withdraw from UF and enroll at USC, I will need to completely change my plans, get out of my current lease, and be in LA no later than Wednesday morning. This is a real inconvenience but I am not trying to factor that too much in this decision.

When I first started my admissions cycle, my top two schools were UCLA and USC, in that order. I have lived in FL my whole life and really wanted to go to Los Angeles, not for any particular reason though, I guess just for the change, and I liked the idea of living in California. Although, I have only ever visited California once, for one week, and that was quite recently when I went to check out the law schools. I did really like LA when I visited, though.

I also went to UF for undergrad, and at first wanted to go somewhere else for law school, but I have made my peace with that, even if I'm not exactly thrilled about the prospect of Gainesville for another 3 years.

Career-wise, I don't know if I necessarily want to do big law, but if I end up in a good position to do so after 1L, I think I would probably go down that path. However, I am certainly not in the mindset of big law or bust. At the same time, if I go to USC, I feel like I may need to have to aim for big law in order to pay back my loans.
I would also prefer to go to a school with the best mobility, which I believe would be USC. I would like to practice law in a big city if at all possible (such as LA, NYC, Chicago, Miami, San Fran, etc), and I think UF Law is not the best for this goal, except for cities in the SE (Atlanta, Miami)

The schools I got into (before USC's admission) were UM, UF, Hastings, and Loyola LA. Obviously I decided on UF and figured/rationalized that it was for the best because of the relatively cheap cost (of both tuition and living), familiarity with the area, and because the state of Florida aint all that bad. I also liked UF's law school better than UM's and Loyola's. I thought about retaking and reapplying, but ultimately decided not to. Plus, I had already had had a year off since undergrad and didn't want to postpone law school another year.

However, if USC had made me this offer at the beginning of my cycle, I think I might already be in LA right now. But that was then and this is now.

I figure that over 3 years, USC Law will cost me about $100k more than UF Law, with tuition costs and cost of living.
However, my parents have offered to help me with finances, so that the only loans I will have to take out will be for tuition, which is a difference of about $67k between the schools.
Tuition over 3 years: UF is ~35k and USC is at ~102k

This is obviously a very personal decision, but any input would be greatly appreciated.
Let me know if you have any questions.

TL;DR: Please choose one poll option

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Bodhi_mind
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby Bodhi_mind » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:21 pm

It's really close but I'm going with UF. Unless you're really set on biglaw/practicing outside Florida, then go to USC.


(disclaimer: I love Gainesville and went to UF for UG too)

richie222
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby richie222 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:50 pm

i think in making your decision debt should not be even close to as big a factor as your job prospects. i think if your willing to make the transition to USC in a week, then that is the way to go

V811
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby V811 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:57 pm

Wow, congrats on getting into USC this late in the cycle, with a $15k/year scholly nonetheless. I would certainly go to USC and deal with the inconvenience of being accepted this late in the game. LA is a great place to live and USC carries a lot of respect in the LA community, and scholly definitely lessens the total debt burden.

Just out of curiosity, what were your numbers that you were accepted this late with a scholly? Did you apply in February?

total_loss
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby total_loss » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:58 pm

blumpkin wrote: Career-wise, I don't know if I necessarily want to do big law, but if I end up in a good position to do so after 1L, I think I would probably go down that path.


You need to be in the top 10% to have a realistic chance at CA big law from USC. You probably need top 5% to get FL/GA big law at UF.

blumpkin wrote: However, I am certainly not in the mindset of big law or bust. At the same time, if I go to USC, I feel like I may need to have to aim for big law in order to pay back my loans.


At 102K plus interest, you will need a very well-paying job to pay back your loans.

blumpkin wrote: I would also prefer to go to a school with the best mobility, which I believe would be USC.


While USC is the better school, it's alumni are notorious for staying put in Los Angeles. That said, you'll be fairly mobile in the west; not so much east of the Rockies. With UF, you are likely limited to Florida/select pockets of the South.

blumpkin wrote: I would like to practice law in a big city if at all possible (such as LA, NYC, Chicago, Miami, San Fran, etc), and I think UF Law is not the best for this goal, except for cities in the SE (Atlanta, Miami)


With USC, you are a lock for LA, possibly SF. SF is the toughest legal market in the nation, so don't bet on it. With UF, you have a good shot at practicing in Miami or Atlanta. No school gives you a great chance at NYC, unless you are at the top of your class. But when you could practice in LA or Miami, why would you want to practice in Chicago?

blumpkin wrote: However, my parents have offered to help me with finances, so that the only loans I will have to take out will be for tuition, which is a difference of about $67k between the schools.
Tuition over 3 years: UF is ~35k and USC is at ~102k


Find out immediately if your parents are ready to double-down on payments for your living expenses if you attend USC. You'll spend double your costs to live in LA.

Given the above, I would stick with UF, but I wouldn't blame you for going to USC.

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thexfactor
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby thexfactor » Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:50 am

go to USC. You need top 1/3 to have a good chance at biglaw from USC. top 10-15% from UF. You really only get a shot at biglaw/midlaw once in your career and that is after your 2nd year of law school. The 70k extra investment is worth the extra 15% buffer that you get at USC. Also if you are looking to come back to the south, it is really easy to "lateral transfer" to vandy from USC. Top half- 1/3 is enough.

Bonus:
Gainesville is really fun with sports and all, but USC has the football scene and has LA.

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Bodhi_mind
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby Bodhi_mind » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:16 pm

I think it ultimately depends on where you want to be. If you want CA, then def go to USC. If you want to stay in the Southeast, then go to UF. It's going to be difficult to place in a different market from either of those schools unless you're at the very top of the class. Tough decision. What did you pick?

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ndirish2010
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby ndirish2010 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:19 pm

total_loss wrote: But when you could practice in LA or Miami, why would you want to practice in Chicago?


LOL. I would NEVER want to live in LA or Miami. Chicago sounds MUCH better.

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Bodhi_mind
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby Bodhi_mind » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:45 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:
total_loss wrote: But when you could practice in LA or Miami, why would you want to practice in Chicago?


LOL. I would NEVER want to live in LA or Miami. Chicago sounds MUCH better.


No thanks to snow and cold. Chicago is nice to visit in the summer, but beyond that no thanks.

Miami, LA > Chicago

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ndirish2010
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby ndirish2010 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:50 pm

Bodhi_mind wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:
total_loss wrote: But when you could practice in LA or Miami, why would you want to practice in Chicago?


LOL. I would NEVER want to live in LA or Miami. Chicago sounds MUCH better.


No thanks to snow and cold. Chicago is nice to visit in the summer, but beyond that no thanks.

Miami, LA > Chicago


And therein lies the problem with the proclamations many make on this site about locations being "better" than others.

OP, I would go to USC in this situation.

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Bodhi_mind
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby Bodhi_mind » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:58 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:
Bodhi_mind wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:
total_loss wrote: But when you could practice in LA or Miami, why would you want to practice in Chicago?


LOL. I would NEVER want to live in LA or Miami. Chicago sounds MUCH better.


No thanks to snow and cold. Chicago is nice to visit in the summer, but beyond that no thanks.

Miami, LA > Chicago


And therein lies the problem with the proclamations many make on this site about locations being "better" than others.

OP, I would go to USC in this situation.



What's the problem? You didn't offer a reason why CHI was better...

TheFactor
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby TheFactor » Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:00 pm

Bodhi_mind wrote:

What's the problem? You didn't offer a reason why CHI was better...

It's better because he likes it better -- the same reason why you think Miami/LA is better. Living preferences are, for the most part, completely subjective.

Real Madrid
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby Real Madrid » Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:14 pm

total_loss wrote:
blumpkin wrote: Career-wise, I don't know if I necessarily want to do big law, but if I end up in a good position to do so after 1L, I think I would probably go down that path.


You need to be in the top 10% to have a realistic chance at CA big law from USC. You probably need top 5% to get FL/GA big law at UF.

blumpkin wrote: However, I am certainly not in the mindset of big law or bust. At the same time, if I go to USC, I feel like I may need to have to aim for big law in order to pay back my loans.


At 102K plus interest, you will need a very well-paying job to pay back your loans.

blumpkin wrote: I would also prefer to go to a school with the best mobility, which I believe would be USC.


While USC is the better school, it's alumni are notorious for staying put in Los Angeles. That said, you'll be fairly mobile in the west; not so much east of the Rockies. With UF, you are likely limited to Florida/select pockets of the South.

blumpkin wrote: I would like to practice law in a big city if at all possible (such as LA, NYC, Chicago, Miami, San Fran, etc), and I think UF Law is not the best for this goal, except for cities in the SE (Atlanta, Miami)


With USC, you are a lock for LA, possibly SF. SF is the toughest legal market in the nation, so don't bet on it. With UF, you have a good shot at practicing in Miami or Atlanta. No school gives you a great chance at NYC, unless you are at the top of your class. But when you could practice in LA or Miami, why would you want to practice in Chicago?

blumpkin wrote: However, my parents have offered to help me with finances, so that the only loans I will have to take out will be for tuition, which is a difference of about $67k between the schools.
Tuition over 3 years: UF is ~35k and USC is at ~102k


Find out immediately if your parents are ready to double-down on payments for your living expenses if you attend USC. You'll spend double your costs to live in LA.

Given the above, I would stick with UF, but I wouldn't blame you for going to USC.


Uh, what? You think only 10% of USC grads are gonna get big law? Riiiiight.

I also like how you question OPs desire to live in Chicago over LA and then immediately follow with a statement about the ridiculous COL in LA.

total_loss
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby total_loss » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:12 pm

Real Madrid wrote:Uh, what? You think only 10% of USC grads are gonna get big law? Riiiiight.


Right, you know, because it's raining big law in CA for USC and UCLA students. This isn't 2007. At USC ITE you will absolutely need to be in the top 10% to have a realistic shot at big law. Outside the top 10%, it's a crap shoot.

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NoleinNY
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby NoleinNY » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:21 pm

USC, because the state of Florida is a giant toilet, and Gainesville is the crust on the bowl... Just saying. Plus, I mean, it's USC.

Real Madrid
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby Real Madrid » Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:05 am

total_loss wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:Uh, what? You think only 10% of USC grads are gonna get big law? Riiiiight.


Right, you know, because it's raining big law in CA for USC and UCLA students. This isn't 2007. At USC ITE you will absolutely need to be in the top 10% to have a realistic shot at big law. Outside the top 10%, it's a crap shoot.


http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/tag/nlj-250/

29% > 10%
Last edited by Real Madrid on Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

TheFactor
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby TheFactor » Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:23 am

total_loss wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:Uh, what? You think only 10% of USC grads are gonna get big law? Riiiiight.

Right, you know, because it's raining big law in CA for USC and UCLA students. This isn't 2007. At USC ITE you will absolutely need to be in the top 10% to have a realistic shot at big law. Outside the top 10%, it's a crap shoot.

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dpk711
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby dpk711 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:57 am

total_loss wrote:You need to be in the top 10% to have a realistic chance at CA big law from USC.

total_loss
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby total_loss » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:06 am

I significantly undervalued USC's current big law placement. Still, a 28.72% chance of getting big law isn't good. OP, what did you decide?

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North
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby North » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:46 pm

total_loss wrote:I significantly undervalued USC's current big law placement. Still, a 28.72% chance of getting big law isn't good. OP, what did you decide?
You need to not just guess at stuff when giving advice to people making significant life decisions. It makes you come off as both an idiot and a crappy person.

total_loss
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby total_loss » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:12 pm

North wrote:
total_loss wrote:I significantly undervalued USC's current big law placement. Still, a 28.72% chance of getting big law isn't good. OP, what did you decide?
You need to not just guess at stuff when giving advice to people making significant life decisions. It makes you come off as both an idiot and a crappy person.


“By dint of railing at idiots, one runs the risk of becoming idiotic oneself” --Gustave Flaubert

But seriously, I agree that I should have chosen my words more carefully.

The main point of my original post was to present a picture to OP regarding the chances of getting big law to pay pack six figures of debt. While I could have simply stated that getting big law from SC would be extremely tough, I didn't. Instead I chose a number based on SC's current ranking system (only top 10% are ranked) for the proposition that top 10% have the most realistic shot at big law. Provided a +/- 4% for Article III clerkships (most likely obtained by those in the top 10%) and a +/- 1% for those in the top 10% who don't go big law, the SC student ranked outside the top 10% has somewhere between a 18.72% and 23.72% chance of getting big law.

Of course, it becomes less probable that any student outside the top third obtains a big law position, so the odds are significantly increased for those in the top third. It could be said that the top 28.72% (+/- 5%) of the class have 100% shot at big law and those outside the top 28.72% have a 0% shot at big law. Keep in mind that the likelihood of placing in the top third of the class is, obviously, around 33%, with exceptions.

Either way you slice it, the above scenario provides worse odds than the metaphorical "outside-the-top-10%-it's-a-crap-shoot" illustration I used above, as a bet on the pass line provides somewhere around a 48% chance of winning.

TheFactor
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby TheFactor » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:24 pm

total_loss wrote:
North wrote:
total_loss wrote:I significantly undervalued USC's current big law placement. Still, a 28.72% chance of getting big law isn't good. OP, what did you decide?
You need to not just guess at stuff when giving advice to people making significant life decisions. It makes you come off as both an idiot and a crappy person.


“By dint of railing at idiots, one runs the risk of becoming idiotic oneself” --Gustave Flaubert

But seriously, I agree that I should have chosen my words more carefully.

The main point of my original post was to present a picture to OP regarding the chances of getting big law to pay pack six figures of debt. While I could have simply stated that getting big law from SC would be extremely tough, I didn't. Instead I chose a number based on SC's current ranking system (only top 10% are ranked) for the proposition that top 10% have the most realistic shot at big law. Provided a +/- 4% for Article III clerkships (most likely obtained by those in the top 10%) and a +/- 1% for those in the top 10% who don't go big law, the SC student ranked outside the top 10% has somewhere between a 18.72% and 23.72% chance of getting big law.

Of course, it becomes less probable that any student outside the top third obtains a big law position, so the odds are significantly increased for those in the top third. It could be said that the top 28.72% (+/- 5%) of the class have 100% shot at big law and those outside the top 28.72% have a 0% shot at big law. Keep in mind that the likelihood of placing in the top third of the class is, obviously, around 33%, with exceptions.

Either way you slice it, the above scenario provides worse odds than the metaphorical "outside-the-top-10%-it's-a-crap-shoot" illustration I used above, as a bet on the pass line provides somewhere around a 48% chance of winning.

TL;DR

bigkahuna2020
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby bigkahuna2020 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:15 pm

total_loss wrote:
North wrote:
total_loss wrote:I significantly undervalued USC's current big law placement. Still, a 28.72% chance of getting big law isn't good. OP, what did you decide?
You need to not just guess at stuff when giving advice to people making significant life decisions. It makes you come off as both an idiot and a crappy person.


“By dint of railing at idiots, one runs the risk of becoming idiotic oneself” --Gustave Flaubert

But seriously, I agree that I should have chosen my words more carefully.

The main point of my original post was to present a picture to OP regarding the chances of getting big law to pay pack six figures of debt. While I could have simply stated that getting big law from SC would be extremely tough, I didn't. Instead I chose a number based on SC's current ranking system (only top 10% are ranked) for the proposition that top 10% have the most realistic shot at big law. Provided a +/- 4% for Article III clerkships (most likely obtained by those in the top 10%) and a +/- 1% for those in the top 10% who don't go big law, the SC student ranked outside the top 10% has somewhere between a 18.72% and 23.72% chance of getting big law.

Of course, it becomes less probable that any student outside the top third obtains a big law position, so the odds are significantly increased for those in the top third. It could be said that the top 28.72% (+/- 5%) of the class have 100% shot at big law and those outside the top 28.72% have a 0% shot at big law. Keep in mind that the likelihood of placing in the top third of the class is, obviously, around 33%, with exceptions.

Either way you slice it, the above scenario provides worse odds than the metaphorical "outside-the-top-10%-it's-a-crap-shoot" illustration I used above, as a bet on the pass line provides somewhere around a 48% chance of winning.


This isn't a middle school history paper. Don't open with a quote. Also you are horribly wrong, stop digging yourself deeper with elementary classical stats.

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monarchylover
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Re: URGENT: USC vs. UF

Postby monarchylover » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:36 pm

total_loss wrote:
North wrote:
total_loss wrote:I significantly undervalued USC's current big law placement. Still, a 28.72% chance of getting big law isn't good. OP, what did you decide?
You need to not just guess at stuff when giving advice to people making significant life decisions. It makes you come off as both an idiot and a crappy person.


“By dint of railing at idiots, one runs the risk of becoming idiotic oneself” --Gustave Flaubert

But seriously, I agree that I should have chosen my words more carefully.

The main point of my original post was to present a picture to OP regarding the chances of getting big law to pay pack six figures of debt. While I could have simply stated that getting big law from SC would be extremely tough, I didn't. Instead I chose a number based on SC's current ranking system (only top 10% are ranked) for the proposition that top 10% have the most realistic shot at big law. Provided a +/- 4% for Article III clerkships (most likely obtained by those in the top 10%) and a +/- 1% for those in the top 10% who don't go big law, the SC student ranked outside the top 10% has somewhere between a 18.72% and 23.72% chance of getting big law.

Of course, it becomes less probable that any student outside the top third obtains a big law position, so the odds are significantly increased for those in the top third. It could be said that the top 28.72% (+/- 5%) of the class have 100% shot at big law and those outside the top 28.72% have a 0% shot at big law. Keep in mind that the likelihood of placing in the top third of the class is, obviously, around 33%, with exceptions.

Either way you slice it, the above scenario provides worse odds than the metaphorical "outside-the-top-10%-it's-a-crap-shoot" illustration I used above, as a bet on the pass line provides somewhere around a 48% chance of winning.


Just tell people to shove it when you get it wrong never admit defeat. This is the douche's mantra live by it brother.




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