Texas versus Alabama

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DesperateNWaiting
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:12 am

Texas versus Alabama

Postby DesperateNWaiting » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:34 pm

First time poster here, so thanks in advance.

I am from Birmingham, AL, and will be graduating from a small, private "liberal arts" school in Northwest Georgia this May.
Being an Alabama resident, I qualify for the in-state tuition rates at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa (35) of $18,000 a year.
Because it is so hard to keep Alabama kids in the state of Alabama, I would imagine, UA has given me a three year package of $15,000 a year, costing me $9,000 over three years,
UA is a decent enough school that has given me a great opportunity to more or less receive a free legal education, but there is a serious potential drawback of a degree from UA having limited portability outside of the Southeast. I would imagine that the farthest my connections would realistically reach would be into the Atlanta area.

That being said, another school that I am serious considering is the University of Texas at Austin (14).
Texas has offered me a modest financial aid package of $7,000 over 3 year, but their tuition, even in-state tuition if I were to establish domicile residency, is significantly higher, totaling:

($47,500 - $7000) + (2($35,000 - $7,000) = $90,500 before interest.

Although I would really want to practice in Texas, I can see myself practicing in Birmingham or Atlanta relatively easily. The thing is, Texas would cost TEN times more before interest payments compared to the UA, where I could actually pay my tuition without taking out student loans.

I've asked around, and I want to get a sense from other law students:
At this point in the economy, is it worth paying significantly more money for a significantly better law school?
I've been told that I would be stupid to pass up the huge financial aid package that UA has offered me, but I want to make sure that I don't pass up a great opportunity at a better law school.
Thanks for any input that anyone can offer.
Last edited by DesperateNWaiting on Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Texas versus Alabama

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:43 pm

You left out an important word in your post. Do you really want to practice in Texas ? Is so, then Texas is a great opportunity. However, if you are more inclined to stay in the Birmingham/Atlanta area, then save the money & attend Alabama without any significant financial stress.

DesperateNWaiting
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:12 am

Re: Texas versus Alabama

Postby DesperateNWaiting » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:54 pm

Bah, thank you. I thought I had proofread the post relatively well.

Geographically, I don't have a real reason to want to practice in Texas. I guess the weather would be nice, and I always hear people from Texas talking about how well the state is run (although oftentimes I just associate that with Texan pride). I suppose that, fairly stated, there is no reason why I would want to practice in Texas instead of the Southeast, but if you've ever been to Alabama, you may understand why I have some fears about spending the rest of my life down here.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Texas versus Alabama

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:59 pm

I am familiar with Alabama. Texas offers Dallas & Houston biglaw as well as a nationally respected degree. Alabama Law offers financial freedom & the possibility of Atlanta--although the law market is much healthier in Texas & should rise dramatically if we attack Iran. Also approval of the proposed pipeline from Canada should increase opportunities with Texas firms since many are engaged in oil related matters.

P.S. In short, you have two great choices. If you really want out of Alabama, then Texas offers several healthy markets.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Nelson
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:43 am

Re: Texas versus Alabama

Postby Nelson » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:00 pm

It sounds like you should take a year or two off before going to law school so you can figure out what you want to do and where you really want to be.

As is, given your uncertainty, you should go to Alabama as no debt means more flexibility.

DesperateNWaiting
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:12 am

Re: Texas versus Alabama

Postby DesperateNWaiting » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:03 pm

@CanadianWolf - I guess we'll just see if I can muster up the balls to take on some serious debt.

@Nelson - I probably SHOULD take a year off. I just turned 20 in December, and even though I know I want to do something in the legal field, I definitely have some "soul searching" do to as far as a definite career path. I agree that Alabama is definitely the safer option.

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Nelson
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:43 am

Re: Texas versus Alabama

Postby Nelson » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:05 pm

DesperateNWaiting wrote:@Nelson - I probably SHOULD take a year off. I just turned 20 in December, and even though I know I want to do something in the legal field, I definitely have some "soul searching" do to as far as a definite career path. I agree that Alabama is definitely the safer option.

You have nothing to lose by taking time off. Law schools aren't going anywhere.

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20130312
Posts: 3842
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:53 pm

Re: Texas versus Alabama

Postby 20130312 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:09 pm

Nelson wrote:
DesperateNWaiting wrote:@Nelson - I probably SHOULD take a year off. I just turned 20 in December, and even though I know I want to do something in the legal field, I definitely have some "soul searching" do to as far as a definite career path. I agree that Alabama is definitely the safer option.

You have nothing to lose by taking time off. Law schools aren't going anywhere.


Agreed. Not sure why so many people are afraid of this. It's very helpful.

srfngdd6
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:08 pm

Re: Texas versus Alabama

Postby srfngdd6 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:15 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I am familiar with Alabama. Texas offers Dallas & Houston biglaw as well as a nationally respected degree. Alabama Law offers financial freedom & the possibility of Atlanta--although the law market is much healthier in Texas & should rise dramatically if we attack Iran. Also approval of the proposed pipeline from Canada should increase opportunities with Texas firms since many are engaged in oil related matters.

P.S. In short, you have two great choices. If you really want out of Alabama, then Texas offers several healthy markets.



i assume you are referring to the keystone pipeline which was not approved

CanadianWolf
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Texas versus Alabama

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:17 pm

Yes, but approval is likely according to several reports. If not, then expect a Republican President soon. (My best guess is that Pres. Obama is playing politics with this project & is likely to approve it before the November elections. We need oil & we need jobs while Obama needs votes.)

srfngdd6
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:08 pm

Re: Texas versus Alabama

Postby srfngdd6 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:51 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Yes, but approval is likely according to several reports. If not, then expect a Republican President soon. (My best guess is that Pres. Obama is playing politics with this project & is likely to approve it before the November elections. We need oil & we need jobs while Obama needs votes.)



Delayed until at least 2013 pending further environmental study and Obama does not need any votes in the states where the jobs are being created he isnt winning either dakota, nebraska, kansas, oklahoma, or texas




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