Which offer should I accept?

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Jcolt07
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Which offer should I accept?

Postby Jcolt07 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:38 pm

I've been offered admission to UT, SMU, Texas Tech, Texas Wesleyan, and U of H. UT and Wes are my top two, with SMU being a close third. UT seems like the no brainer, but I can go to Wes and pay zero living expenses to live with my uncle in Fort Worth. Wes and UT are both around 28,000 for tuition per year (resident UT tuition.) I would be saving about 20,000 a year by going to Wes. So, I'm looking for advice from graduates of either school, and any other schools in Texas for that matter. Is graduating from UT worth the extra 20,000 per year? I have a friend with his own oil and gas law practice that graduated from Wes and is extremely successful. His opinion is that which school you graduate from doesn't carry too much weight as long as you can pass the bar and don't plan on going into politics. But that's just one case. I would like some other opinions. Thanks in advance!

checkster
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby checkster » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:45 pm

UT.









UT.

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bk1
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby bk1 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:02 pm

UT is the best TX school by a mile. Texas Wesleyan is one of the worst law schools in the state. I wouldn't recommend Wesleyan over UT even if UT cost full sticker and Wesleyan paid you to go there. 20k/year is a pittance compared to the drastic difference between UT and Wesleyan.

Your friend is wrong, he's an exception. School prestige does matter. Yes some people can be successful from T4 schools, but they are very few and far between and odds are you aren't one of them (and even if you were you would have no way of knowing for sure). Don't go to Wesleyan under any circumstances.

This is an easy decision, go to UT (maybe SMU/UH if they were were free and UT was full sticker).

apeopleshistory
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby apeopleshistory » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:11 pm

.
Last edited by apeopleshistory on Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sparty99
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby sparty99 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:16 pm

Huh? Clearly, you go to UT unless SMU or Houston gave you a full-ride.....

Anybody who is anybody in Texas will recruit at UT. You will have to be # 1 at Wes to even get the opportunities that you would at UT. This decision is a no brainer.

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dproduct
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby dproduct » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:37 pm

sparty99 wrote:Huh? Clearly, you go to UT unless SMU or Houston gave you a full-ride.....

Anybody who is anybody in Texas will recruit at UT. You will have to be # 1 at Wes to even get the opportunities that you would at UT. This decision is a no brainer.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby lawyerwannabe » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:41 pm

Not sure how this is even debatable.

Jcolt07
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby Jcolt07 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:43 pm

Thank you for all the quick responses. It is a "no-brainer" decision, just wanted to hear it from others as I have little experience in law. Thanks again!

Jcolt07
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby Jcolt07 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:44 pm

By the way, where did you all graduate from, if you don't mind me asking?

mighttransfer
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby mighttransfer » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:44 pm

UT and don't think twice about it

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby lawyerwannabe » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:47 pm

.
Last edited by lawyerwannabe on Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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spleenworship
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby spleenworship » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:52 pm

sparty99 wrote:Huh? Clearly, you go to UT unless SMU or Houston gave you a full-ride.....

Anybody who is anybody in Texas will recruit at UT. You will have to be # 1 at Wes to even get the opportunities that you would at UT. This decision is a no brainer.

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sach1282
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby sach1282 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:16 am

Far and away, UT.

Jcolt07
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby Jcolt07 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:26 pm

44,000 in scholarships from Wes. 22 for the first year, and the remainder split between years 2 and 3, if I stay in the top 25%. UT offered a $3,000 scholarship for the first year.

Still waiting on SMU, Tech, Baylor, and Houston to present some scholarship info. As well as waiting on all schools for financial aid. UT is my first choice. I like what I've seen and heard so far from interacting with staff, and talking to an alum and a 2L. I'm most likely going there, unless I get a FULL ride to one of the others. Which isn't likely.

In my head I'm thinking, "WHAT DO I DO!?!?" Tough to be patient with all this excitement!

keg411
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby keg411 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:43 pm

Jcolt07 wrote:44,000 in scholarships from Wes. 22 for the first year, and the remainder split between years 2 and 3, if I stay in the top 25%. UT offered a $3,000 scholarship for the first year.

Still waiting on SMU, Tech, Baylor, and Houston to present some scholarship info. As well as waiting on all schools for financial aid. UT is my first choice. I like what I've seen and heard so far from interacting with staff, and talking to an alum and a 2L. I'm most likely going there, unless I get a FULL ride to one of the others. Which isn't likely.

In my head I'm thinking, "WHAT DO I DO!?!?" Tough to be patient with all this excitement!


Just go to UT. It really is a no-brainer.

Jcolt07
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby Jcolt07 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:18 pm

I can't take you seriously with that profile picture. Go Rangers.

Jk.

Where did you go to law school?

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patrickd139
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby patrickd139 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:18 pm

This has to be a flame. UT and it's not even close. I don't care if they were going to pay you to go to Texas Wesleyan, it's still a death knell to your career prospects.

And to the person above who said that Texas Wesleyan is the worst school in the state, I'd encourage you to expand your geographic reach a bit: it may be one of the worst schools in the country re: the traditional metrics.

I now invite bros to come at me with anecdotal advice which refutes my statements.

Jcolt07
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby Jcolt07 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:58 pm

Not a flame... 78k in tuition for UT. Lets say 45k for 3 years of living expenses. At Wesleyan, I would pay about 30k in tuition, and I would have free rent/utilities. I've got 30k in undergrad loans. Unless your already extremely wealthy, I think you can understand, if only slightly, why I was asking, from a financial perspective. I'm not saying Wesleyan is a better, or even a good school. I'm simply trying make sure being around 150,000 dollars in debt, as opposed to around 60,000 dollars, is justifiable. Say I get a large scholarship to SMU, or U of H, both better schools than Wes. I'll probably end up at one of those two if the price is right. From what I can tell from talking to a Tech grad, Wes grad, and two UT grads, law firms still play by real world rules. Going to UT isn't going to guarantee me a job. It'll certainly increase my chances of getting into Big Law though, which at this moment isn't as big a concern to me as it others. I hope to do estate planning or get into the oil and gas industry. I've been working with the Tech and Wes grad, mentioned above, when I'm not off drilling oil wells. I proofread title opinions, and tag along when they're out doing research for title opinions. It's interesting stuff and that's one the main reasons I want to go law school. But I'm also practical. Say, for whatever reason, I don't get a job out of law school. What kind of debt would you rather have hanging over your head? I would appreciate some unhostile, honest opinions. People with experience preferably, not a bunch of people saying, "UT #1!!!" They have a great program. I get it. But are my chances of making a solid living that worse, for what I want to do, by going to U of H or SMU and saving myself 100,000 bucks of debt?

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dingbat
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby dingbat » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:32 pm

Jcolt07 wrote:Not a flame... 78k in tuition for UT. Lets say 45k for 3 years of living expenses. At Wesleyan, I would pay about 30k in tuition, and I would have free rent/utilities. I've got 30k in undergrad loans. Unless your already extremely wealthy, I think you can understand, if only slightly, why I was asking, from a financial perspective. I'm not saying Wesleyan is a better, or even a good school. I'm simply trying make sure being around 150,000 dollars in debt, as opposed to around 60,000 dollars, is justifiable. Say I get a large scholarship to SMU, or U of H, both better schools than Wes. I'll probably end up at one of those two if the price is right. From what I can tell from talking to a Tech grad, Wes grad, and two UT grads, law firms still play by real world rules. Going to UT isn't going to guarantee me a job. It'll certainly increase my chances of getting into Big Law though, which at this moment isn't as big a concern to me as it others. I hope to do estate planning or get into the oil and gas industry. I've been working with the Tech and Wes grad, mentioned above, when I'm not off drilling oil wells. I proofread title opinions, and tag along when they're out doing research for title opinions. It's interesting stuff and that's one the main reasons I want to go law school. But I'm also practical. Say, for whatever reason, I don't get a job out of law school. What kind of debt would you rather have hanging over your head? I would appreciate some unhostile, honest opinions. People with experience preferably, not a bunch of people saying, "UT #1!!!" They have a great program. I get it. But are my chances of making a solid living that worse, for what I want to do, by going to U of H or SMU and saving myself 100,000 bucks of debt?

Can your friend get you a job? Because that might change the calculation (if you have a job GUARANTEED then the cheapest option makes sense

CanadianWolf
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:54 pm

Texas.

Jcolt07
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby Jcolt07 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:15 pm

Yes. His older brother is currently working for him. They share office space with the younger brothers old partner, the Tech grad. The older gentlemen is planning on retiring in the next 3 or 4 years and the brothers will take over his clients (currently they do contract work for him on the side when he's got too many projects for one lawyer.) By the time I graduate, they'll need two additional lawyers, maybe 3 if the older bro can break into water law like he plans. The guy has already started talking to me about what kind of salary to expect from him. So unless something catastrophic happens to the oil & gas industry, I'll have a job. That's what makes the decision so difficult. I really would love to go to UT. The campus and city are both awesome. But that alone doesn't justify the cost. I think I'm just going wait and see what my financial aid packet says from UT, and scholarship packets from SMU and U of H. Then I'll go from there. Hopefully I can be Longhorn!

So weird to say. I come from a family of Aggies and Red Raiders. Maybe that's my problem! Lol

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dingbat
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby dingbat » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:38 am

Jcolt07 wrote:Yes. His older brother is currently working for him. They share office space with the younger brothers old partner, the Tech grad. The older gentlemen is planning on retiring in the next 3 or 4 years and the brothers will take over his clients (currently they do contract work for him on the side when he's got too many projects for one lawyer.) By the time I graduate, they'll need two additional lawyers, maybe 3 if the older bro can break into water law like he plans. The guy has already started talking to me about what kind of salary to expect from him. So unless something catastrophic happens to the oil & gas industry, I'll have a job. That's what makes the decision so difficult. I really would love to go to UT. The campus and city are both awesome. But that alone doesn't justify the cost. I think I'm just going wait and see what my financial aid packet says from UT, and scholarship packets from SMU and U of H. Then I'll go from there. Hopefully I can be Longhorn!

So weird to say. I come from a family of Aggies and Red Raiders. Maybe that's my problem! Lol


If you're guaranteed a job, and you are sure you want that job, then save the $20k per year.
But, be 100% sure the job is guaranteed - what would happen if the older partner decides to stay on? What if they really need another lawyer 2 years down the line they get to the point where they have to hire a lawyer and can't wait for you? What if they screw up royally and get disbarred, or sued for malpractice?
Your "guaranteed" job might not be as definite as you think (it's easy for people to talk theoretically about something 3 years down the line)

acrossthelake
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:46 am

Jcolt07 wrote:44,000 in scholarships from Wes. 22 for the first year, and the remainder split between years 2 and 3, if I stay in the top 25%. UT offered a $3,000 scholarship for the first year.

Still waiting on SMU, Tech, Baylor, and Houston to present some scholarship info. As well as waiting on all schools for financial aid. UT is my first choice. I like what I've seen and heard so far from interacting with staff, and talking to an alum and a 2L. I'm most likely going there, unless I get a FULL ride to one of the others. Which isn't likely.

In my head I'm thinking, "WHAT DO I DO!?!?" Tough to be patient with all this excitement!


Never ever ever go to law school assuming you're going to be in the top 25%. It's not like undergrad where you're going to do better than half the class by virtue of showing up. Jobs are tied to grades and people know that--and people will work hard. Law school is full of people whose egos are tied very directly into their academic accomplishments--often they are people who have been top of their class whereever they've gone, until they got to law school. It's a curve--someone has to be at the bottom, even if that someone is pretty bright. Further, a lot of lower-level schools (which Wes is) will "section stack"--they will put all the scholarship kids in the exact same section, and then force the curve on them so that a large % are doomed by design to lose their scholarships. So that's even worse--assuming that they give scholarships to those who are more likely to succeed, you'll be forced into competition with scholarship kids and only scholarship kids. I don't know if Wes does this, and it's worth looking into.

So assume you only get $44,000 from Wes and lose it for the remaining two years, and make your calculations that way. You seem risk-averse, and it's important to go in with the mindset that you don't end up in the top 25%(hell, that you end up below median). You seem to know this--you know that UT isn't a sure bet to anything because even there you aren't guaranteed to have good enough grades to net a job (though your odds are markedly better).

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dingbat
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby dingbat » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:15 am

acrossthelake wrote:
Jcolt07 wrote:44,000 in scholarships from Wes. 22 for the first year, and the remainder split between years 2 and 3, if I stay in the top 25%. UT offered a $3,000 scholarship for the first year.

Still waiting on SMU, Tech, Baylor, and Houston to present some scholarship info. As well as waiting on all schools for financial aid. UT is my first choice. I like what I've seen and heard so far from interacting with staff, and talking to an alum and a 2L. I'm most likely going there, unless I get a FULL ride to one of the others. Which isn't likely.

In my head I'm thinking, "WHAT DO I DO!?!?" Tough to be patient with all this excitement!


Never ever ever go to law school assuming you're going to be in the top 25%. It's not like undergrad where you're going to do better than half the class by virtue of showing up. Jobs are tied to grades and people know that--and people will work hard. Law school is full of people whose egos are tied very directly into their academic accomplishments--often they are people who have been top of their class whereever they've gone, until they got to law school. It's a curve--someone has to be at the bottom, even if that someone is pretty bright. Further, a lot of lower-level schools (which Wes is) will "section stack"--they will put all the scholarship kids in the exact same section, and then force the curve on them so that a large % are doomed by design to lose their scholarships. So that's even worse--assuming that they give scholarships to those who are more likely to succeed, you'll be forced into competition with scholarship kids and only scholarship kids. I don't know if Wes does this, and it's worth looking into.

So assume you only get $44,000 from Wes and lose it for the remaining two years, and make your calculations that way. You seem risk-averse, and it's important to go in with the mindset that you don't end up in the top 25%(hell, that you end up below median). You seem to know this--you know that UT isn't a sure bet to anything because even there you aren't guaranteed to have good enough grades to net a job (though your odds are markedly better).

Totally credited - I can't believe I forgot to mention that (probably because my offer came without stips)

Jcolt07
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Re: Which offer should I accept?

Postby Jcolt07 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:27 am

Thank you both very much. This is the kind of advice I'm looking for. You're right, I am risk averse. Growing up in a household with parents that financed everything they could, and eventually not being able to help send me to school, made me this way. I'm not complaining, though. Those were good life lessons and the whole reason I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons of the different routes I can take. The BBA in Finance definitely adds to aversion, especially after seeing how deep people are into debt without realizing the true gravity of their situation. I appreciate the words of wisdom. I didn't know that about stacking and I will definitely look into it. You're mostly just making me want to go to UT, which ultimately is the best decision, no doubt about it. Just trying to cover my own in a brutal economy. Also true about no guarantees. They've been around for five years, and there are several variables at play, so it is a much better choice to prepare myself should that opportunity not be there when I graduate. Thanks again




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