Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

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Stanford or Full Ride at UT

Stanford
102
69%
Full Ride at UT
45
31%
 
Total votes: 147

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bk1
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:19 am

bdubs wrote:People who have taught either in law schools or in other rigorous academic disciplines that use similar evaluation methods. Some undergrads may get exposure to these people, others may get it in a professional setting.


Fair enough. Though I'd imagine very few people have enough interaction with these types to be accurately gauged. And because of that I think the point is effectively moot.

de5igual
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby de5igual » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:20 am

nonprofit-prophet wrote:To put it nicely, the median people did not have the option of attending stanford.


people who passed up HYS to attend UT full ride have performed below median before—that is a fact.

if i were OP, i would take the safe route and go SLS.

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Greenandgold
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby Greenandgold » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:42 am

f0bolous wrote:
nonprofit-prophet wrote:To put it nicely, the median people did not have the option of attending stanford.


people who passed up HYS to attend UT full ride have performed below median before—that is a fact.

if i were OP, i would take the safe route and go SLS.



To be fair, what exactly is unsafe about obtaining a law degree from UT for free?

It should be noted that I'm also on the Stanford side of this, but there's really no wrong answer.

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bk1
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:45 am

Greenandgold wrote:To be fair, what exactly is unsafe about obtaining a law degree from UT for free?


It's unsafe for people who want to do more "prestigious" and hard to get jobs (clerkships, academia, etc) on top of being limited to one state.

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romothesavior
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby romothesavior » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:20 am

Greenandgold wrote:To be fair, what exactly is unsafe about obtaining a law degree from UT for free?

It should be noted that I'm also on the Stanford side of this, but there's really no wrong answer.

UT for free is pretty low risk. I'd say UT full ride with Texas ties is one of the very best law school choices one can have. But at Stanford, you have an almost 100% chance of great employment. And if things like clerking and academia are on someone's radar, then Stanford is obviously the safer bet for those too.

Also, this cannot be discounted:

kalvano wrote:I don't think the general wisdom that your school matters less once you've started working applies to HYS. Regardless of what you want to do in life, Stanford will always open doors that might otherwise be closed, even if you are very successful at UT.


If you do well at UT, it'll help you get your first job. If you graduate from Stanford, anyone who touches your resume throughout your career will take notice. HYS is with you for life.

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1212
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby 1212 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:29 am

Thanks everyone! This is very helpful.

:D

juliachild-ish
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby juliachild-ish » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:40 pm

Okay, so I actually did make this exact choice last year (someone made reference to my past thread I think).

I ended up at Stanford (after getting in off the waitlist), but it was a really tough decision, and I don't think you're ridiculous at all for seriously considering taking UT. I'm happy with my decision, but I don't think I would have been unhappy either way.

You're in a great situation, because either way you're avoiding some risks and hedging your bets a bit. With Stanford, you're guaranteed to get a good job no matter what, even at the bottom of the class, and you're almost certain to be able to go into whatever field/market you want. But you have to do a legal job or else a job that pays a ton, in order to either qualify for LRAP or pay off your loans yourself. Still, that's only for ten years or so, and after that you're free to do whatever, and the Stanford degree will open a lot more non-firm/non-law jobs down the road. Texas also hedges your bets because, obviously, you're not taking on much debt. So you could hypothetically decide you didn't even want to be a lawyer after a couple of years, which is a great option/freedom to have. But then you're also kind of back at square one, because a law degree from UT is not that great for non-law jobs.

Here are some pro/cons:
Texas pros:
Near to family
Austin is basically the most amazing place to live ever (although you can't take advantage of it during first-year at all)
Reasonable cost of living
No debt! (besides COL, which is something)
Can live off campus but still really nearby
Reinforced Texas ties make it much easier to get a job in TX/Austin (elaboration: you can definitely get any job you want in Dallas/Houston etc. with a Stanford degree, but from my friends' experiences here, I think it's pretty hard to break into the Austin law market without a degree from UT, because the law market is small and everyone wants to live in Austin, and most lawyers there went to UT. So if you want a firm job in Austin, that's basically the one area where you might be at a disadvantage coming from Stanford instead. Your Texas ties can compensate for some of that but not all.)

Cons:
More competitive, a lot more stress about grades/where you are in the class
Harder to get non-firm jobs, especially academia/clerkships
Class is bigger, so you won't have as close connections/attention with faculty/OCS/classmates as a whole
Surrounding university is still really good, but not as academically stellar as Stanford, so you don't benefit from exposure to the university as a whole as much
No on-campus law dorms the way Stanford has, so you miss out on that super easy/convenient option, plus you miss out on the community that comes from all living in the same group of buildings
Fellow classmates not as uniformly ridiculously over-accomplished and amazing (I think there's definitely something to be said for being constantly wowed by the achievements of your fellow classmates--not that your fellow classmates at UT won't be great, but I don't think anyone will argue that the quality of the class as a whole won't be higher at Stanford.)
Quality of professors--there are great professors at UT, don't get me wrong, but Stanford definitely has a higher number of really distinguished, superstar professors

Stanford pros:
Munger law school dorm (discussed above)
University as a whole
Clinical system
Quarter system (there are pros and cons about this, but it does allow for you to take a ton of different classes, and when you do a clinic, that's all you do that quarter, so it's basically like a full-time job, which means our clinical training is reallllly helpful and generally admired by employers)
Professors (multiple times so far in 1L classes, we've read Supreme Court cases that the professor argued in, and it blows my mind every time)
Fellow classmates (it's kind of intimidating sometimes! But everyone is still really friendly, which is true about both of these two schools)
Lack of competitiveness/lack of grades/being able to just punt a class for a P and not having it be a big deal at all
OCS/Levin Center career advisors (Because our class size is so small, you can get tons of one-on-one help and really they will basically help you do anything with your law degree that you could ever imagine)
LRAP means that the loans may not be a big deal
Small class/section size means it's really cohesive and everyone gets to know everyone really well
Academia/clerkship opportunities are WAY better
Degree flexibility
Definitely places better in DC than UT, and Atlanta probably no big difference either way--and to be honest, in bigger TX markets, probably no difference either since you have TX ties

Cons:
Small class size (I can see getting sick of the same people after a while, although there's always the rest of the university)
Cost of living, especially if you want to move off campus--and availability of nearby off campus housing is not great
Boring immediate area (there's tons of cool stuff to do, but most of it's an hour away, like in the city)
Cost overall (though again, there's always LRAP)
Farther away from home/family

I would definitely take either Stanford or UT full-ride over your other options.

I am debt-averse too, and it's a little terrifying to look at my loan statements sometimes! But here's the thing--I decided I could commit to doing something law-related for ten years. With a Stanford degree, I'm unlikely to ever be unemployed, and so that means I'll either be doing something public interest and awesome (my current goal is to be a public defender) and not really having to pay back any of my loans, or working at a big firm where I make enough money that paying back the money is not a big deal at all. Either way it shouldn't be too much of a burden.

If you have any interest at all in being a professor, I wouldn't go to UT--it's possible, but highly unlikely you could become a professor from there. I chose Stanford because I wanted to keep all my potential career paths open, instead of just narrowing them to firm job/abandoning law field altogether. Plus I figured, if I don't go to Stanford, I'll always wonder what if--what kind of people could I have met? What amazing professors/opportunities could I have had? I knew what I would be getting at UT, so I knew what I was giving up, but Stanford and a Stanford degree are a lot more wide open.

Not going to lie, some days I do wish I were living in Austin (but for me personally most of that has to do with the fact that I live off-campus with my two dogs and had to live kind of far away from campus as a result, which I wouldn't have had to do in Austin). But I wouldn't have had time to do most of the fun stuff in Austin this first year anyway, and when I have more free time I can find the time to go SF. But I never really have a day where I wish I were at UT. My professors here are just too amazing, and I do love having the sense that we're the future leaders of the profession, that people in my class are going to be SCOTUS clerks (and maybe justices!) and prominent politicians and general counsels at major companies and NGO leaders...there are a few people at UT who will do exceptional things, but most people in the class will just work at firms their whole lives. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's nice to feel exceptional too.

Okay this is really long and rambling, gotta get back to editing a brief. Post here or PM me if you have more specific questions. I'm happy to help! It was a really really hard decision for me, but I don't think you can actually go wrong either way.

Oh, and definitely go to Stanford's ASW/visit some other time, plus visit UT if you haven't done so already (but don't let yourself be too seduced by how awesome Austin is). I feel like actual visits will help make your decision for you if you're still struggling. Good luck!

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emkay625
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby emkay625 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:49 pm

I love Texas through and through, but I think people have made good points. Standford will open up doors that UT never will. Especially if you are really searching for good exit options a few years from now (academia, publishing, etc.) I think the Stanford degree will help much more than a UT degree will.

Also, it's clear you are a very, very bright person, but you ever know - you could get really sick, miss an alarm during exam time, etc. And I'd much rather be below median at Stanford than at UT.

Best of luck whatever you decide! Keep us updated.

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dingbat
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby dingbat » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:34 pm

I don't think this is as easy a decision as everyone makes it out to be.

Everyone says stanford quickly, as if an extra quarter million dollars of debt is nothing.
You could buy a house for less than that.
If you're worried about money, it is most definately safer to take UT full ride

People also say that the prestige of stanford will follow you forever.
This is the biggest load of BS I've ever heard. When you graduate, yes, it makes a difference. A few years out it'll still count for something, but 10 years down the line, no one cares where you went to law school, only what you've accomplished since.

You want to practice law in texas, so UT is a good option (a lot less so if you want to go to a different state)
You've said you want to start with biglaw and then becoming a professor.
About 1/3 of UT places biglaw, so as long as you're in the top half of your class you should have a decent shot at it.
Once you establish yourself, you can then give an occasional guest lecture at the nearest law school to bolster your future credentials (if you end up working in or near austin, even better) - but you should also try to publish articles in law journals once in a while, you can make it up there.

Going to UT is a bit of a risk in terms of elite employment, compared to Stanford.
However, not having a quarter million dollars of debt hanging around your neck will make a big difference.

You need to think long and hard. Stanford has greater reach, geographically. It also gives you a better chance at the start (i.e. if you don't make it to the top 1/3 - 1/2 of your class). It will also cost an extra quarter million dollars. That is more money than many people make in a decade.
(that being said, I'd take Stanford - but I've been known to take big risks)

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Gail
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby Gail » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:22 pm

1212 wrote:Hello everyone!

I am deciding between Stanford and a full ride at UT. Please help.

-From Texas (my family lives an hour outside of Austin, would love to stay close to them)

-Interested in practicing in Texas though Atlanta and DC are two places I would like to look for employment as well

-Interested in BigLaw and eventually becoming a professor later (not necessarily at t14 or anything, just something more conducive to being a wife/mom) or going in-house.

-Pretty debt adverse and already ~20k in debt from undergrad

Other options include: C,C,N ($),B, D,G



I chose UT because I think it serves you well especially with the full tuition. However, if you're really so set on professorship I have an additional question,


If it has to be at a law school, then Stanford if you simply wouldn't be satisfied outside of academia.

If you don't mind teaching introductory legal classes to dumbies like me at undergrad, you can still teach. I have professors who are lecturers and professors with only a JD teaching only business law, real estate law, labor law, tax law etc. (all 400 level courses except for the regular b-law which is 300 and required for all b-majors). They're good introductory courses for most students and it has that nice UG relaxation tone. I imagine any Texas school will hire you for that alone.

The downside of doing that is that you're going to be paid less, but not bad. I believe the professor I'm specifically thinking of makes like 100k and went to the state flagship's law school. He works for something like 20 hours a week. That's not the salary you'd make at a law school, but it also isn't law school exam grading either. You'll still have the options of regular work or being there for your kids as often as you like. I would personally choose this because I would like to stay at home with my kids mid-career for a good part of the day.



Honestly. 160k biglaw is 160k biglaw. The best paying Texas firms will pay the same as the best selling NYC firms. Why pay extra for a better chance at a V5 when V50 is the same salary?

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BuckinghamB
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby BuckinghamB » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:10 am

vivian3909 wrote:Choose Texas.It's still a T14 and on the off chance that you're part of the half of the law school graduates who can't find a law job, at least you're not heavy in debt. I am choosing law schools too and am hoping to stay close to the fam as well.

No, it's not.

HeavenWood
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby HeavenWood » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:36 am

Gail wrote:Honestly. 160k biglaw is 160k biglaw. The best paying Texas firms will pay the same as the best selling NYC firms. Why pay extra for a better chance at a V5 when V50 is the same salary?

It's not just about getting a prestigious job. It's about getting a job, period. Yes, Texas is a great school, but you're far more likely to slip through the cracks. Stanford pretty much seals the deal.

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johansantana21
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby johansantana21 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:45 am

Stanford. You will regret going to UT.

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romothesavior
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby romothesavior » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:03 am

HeavenWood wrote:
Gail wrote:Honestly. 160k biglaw is 160k biglaw. The best paying Texas firms will pay the same as the best selling NYC firms. Why pay extra for a better chance at a V5 when V50 is the same salary?

It's not just about getting a prestigious job. It's about getting a job, period. Yes, Texas is a great school, but you're far more likely to slip through the cracks. Stanford pretty much seals the deal.

Yeah this.

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Mce252
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby Mce252 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:33 am

arewehavingfunyet wrote:The fact that you're even considering UT at this point makes me seriously question your decision making ability. The cost difference between Stanford and UT will be made up 10 fold with the opportunity and literal money you will get going to Stanford. You know what, just go to UT.


This is a ridiculous post. OP- if you felt that a full-ride at UT would give you significant peace of mind (financially), then go. If your career aspirations require a HYS degree, then go to Stanford. Anyone making this out to be a "win-lose" situation is stupid. Taking a free education at the University of Texas over sticker at Stanford is not unreasonable. Stanford is probably the better choice, but both are great schools and one is free. Congratulations on the option.

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Perdevise
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Re: Stanford at Sticker vs. UT Full Tuition

Postby Perdevise » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:53 am

Mce252 wrote:
arewehavingfunyet wrote:The fact that you're even considering UT at this point makes me seriously question your decision making ability. The cost difference between Stanford and UT will be made up 10 fold with the opportunity and literal money you will get going to Stanford. You know what, just go to UT.


This is a ridiculous post. OP- if you felt that a full-ride at UT would give you significant peace of mind (financially), then go. If your career aspirations require a HYS degree, then go to Stanford. Anyone making this out to be a "win-lose" situation is stupid. Taking a free education at the University of Texas over sticker at Stanford is not unreasonable. Stanford is probably the better choice, but both are great schools and one is free. Congratulations on the option.


I agree, there is no wrong choice. I am in a similar spot (accepted at S, also have a few full rides) and I am 99% sure I'm going to Stanford. There is something to be said for achieving the pinnacle of legal education. I feel like if I turned it down, I would always question my decision for the rest of my life. It will be a lot of debt, but I think need-based aid and LRAP or biglaw virtually guaranteed are enough to make it a moot point. And I guess I differ from the OP in that I am looking forward to being somewhere new for three years. This may have been said, but you can definitely come back to Texas during 1L and 2L summer.




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