Miami vs. Nebraska

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

In your opinion, which school is the best value?

Miami (sticker)
4
33%
Nebraska (10k/year)
5
42%
South Carolina (~18k/year)
1
8%
St. John's (sticker)
2
17%
 
Total votes: 12

hailtopitt007
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Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby hailtopitt007 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:14 pm

Greetings,

I have a bit of a dilemma that I would greatly appreciate any input you may have on choosing between University of Miami, University of Nebraska, University of South Carolina, and St. John's University. They are all relatively close in ranking (77-105), so I'm kinda in a pickle.

I would be paying sticker price (~$39k) at the University of Miami, but the high median salary and above-average job placement statistics are pulling me in (not to mention Miami would not be a bad place to spend three years).

The University of Nebraska has offered me $10k per year and already has fairly low tuition (~$28k) for out-of-staters, which would bring the bill to just under $20k per year for me. I hesitate because I am not sure what the Nebraska/Midwest legal market is at the moment and their employment data is kind of incomplete and, therefore, somewhat unreliable, in my opinion.

The University of South Carolina has offered me a non-resident tuition scholarship meaning that I would be paying around $22k per year. I hesitate for many of the same reasons as Nebraska.

Now, St. John's has not offered me any scholarship (~45k), but the name recognition and the New York legal market are the factors pulling me towards it.

I know this is a lot to ask for a single post, but any information/experiences/advice that you can offer about these particular schools and the legal markets they serve would be greatly appreciated.

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stillwater
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby stillwater » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:17 pm

Instead of playing Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, where do you want to work? Where do you have ties?

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Lincoln
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby Lincoln » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:21 pm

stillwater wrote:Instead of playing Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, where do you want to work? Where do you have ties?


Agreed. As between those schools, the ranking is sort of irrelevant. The only things that matters are location and cost.

hailtopitt007
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby hailtopitt007 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:23 pm

Haha well, I have ties to PA, but to be completely honest, I am really willing to work anywhere. Now, if I had to rank those schools by location preference, it would be Miami, St. Johns, South Carolina, and Nebraska.

I just wanted to try and get some opinions and feelings about the schools and whether or not people feel I should take the lower tuition and ranking over the higher tuition and ranking, etc.

Thanks.

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jk2011
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby jk2011 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:27 pm

Keep in mind that "high median salary" for Miami is based off of 30% of those who went into private practice. So don't trust that. Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong but at this point rankings don't really matter-- these schools are all regional at best.

hailtopitt007
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby hailtopitt007 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:34 pm

jk2011 wrote:Keep in mind that "high median salary" for Miami is based off of 30% of those who went into private practice. So don't trust that. Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong but at this point rankings don't really matter-- these schools are all regional at best.


Right, and I totally understand that about the salary, no argument there.

I guess my question stems back to whether or not it is worth taking on the debt for a school like Miami or St. Johns (probably upwards of $120k) when I have offers from Nebraska and South Carolina that would bring the cost down (probably around $60k-$70k).

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skers
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby skers » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:39 pm

You probably shouldn't go to any of these schools. What about something more local like Penn St.?

hailtopitt007
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby hailtopitt007 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:40 pm

TemporarySaint wrote:You probably shouldn't go to any of these schools. What about something more local like Penn St.?


Thanks for the response, but why do you think I shouldn't go to any of these schools?

I don't have any interest in attending Penn St.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby bobbyh1919 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:48 pm

From what I have heard South Carolina is one of the hardest markets to crack in the country if you're an outsider so cross that off. I'd also probably cross off Miami because I hear the Florida market is tough, especially for outsiders.

You should be focusing on Penn State, maybe Pittsburgh, Villanova, Temple, etc. It's not really a matter of where you'd like to practice, it's a matter of where you'd like to practice where someone will hire you.

checkster
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby checkster » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:49 pm

But you'd rather trek way out to Nebraska? Where you have absolutely connection and will be at a major disadvantage to all the kids that have spent there whole there?

Where did you get this list of options from? I can't imagine moving across the country to pay a sizable amount of money for these places with no ties.

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skers
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby skers » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:55 pm

hailtopitt007 wrote:
TemporarySaint wrote:You probably shouldn't go to any of these schools. What about something more local like Penn St.?


Thanks for the response, but why do you think I shouldn't go to any of these schools?

I don't have any interest in attending Penn St.


Because I'd assume you want a reasonable chance of having a solid career without oppressive debt. First, I wouldn't pay sticker for all but I handfull of schools. Second, law school is not the time to start making ties.

timbs4339
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:55 pm

hailtopitt007 wrote:
TemporarySaint wrote:You probably shouldn't go to any of these schools. What about something more local like Penn St.?


Thanks for the response, but why do you think I shouldn't go to any of these schools?

I don't have any interest in attending Penn St.


Miami is in Southern Florida- an extremely saturated legal market. Florida has 11 law schools, plus the many T14 students who want to go back, yet it does not have nearly enough demand for legal services or the government support to create an entry level legal market like the one that exists in CA, DC, NY, TX, or IL (other large states).

South Carolina and Nebraska are extremely regional schools. Their employers are looking for people who are from the state or region. It will be difficult to articulate why you want to work in those markets if you have never worked there.

St. John's is the worst option on the list. It is in perhaps the most in-demand legal market in the country, that draws students from almost every school in the country, and is behind CLS, NYU, Cornell, Fordham, Brooklyn, Cardozo, and maybe even NYLS in the NYC pecking order. Yet it costs as much as a T14 school. If I could choose one to avoid at all costs, it would be St. Johns.

Honestly, if you are willing to relocate to anywhere, you might want to consider working in the oil boomtowns of North Dakota. There was a story about an unemployed BC law grad who now makes about 100K driving an oil truck.

JamesChapman23
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby JamesChapman23 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:57 pm

All are toliets, all will leave you with terrible prospects and high debt.

hailtopitt007
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby hailtopitt007 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:01 pm

I must not understand the whole "ties" definition here. I am going right into law school from undergrad. I have never held a full-time job anywhere or established any sort of connection to an area other than living where I grew up and went to undergrad. I don't understand how or why a law firm would base the decision to hire someone on where they grew up or have "ties" if they went to a law school in the same exact city?

Also, why then are the out-of-state numbers high for the schools I have listed: Nebraska (32%), Miami (50%), and South Carolina (35%)?

I am not trying to sound hostile and I appreciate everyone's responses, but I guess I am just unaware of the "ties" argument that seems to be popping up here.

JamesChapman23
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby JamesChapman23 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:05 pm

hailtopitt007 wrote:I must not understand the whole "ties" definition here. I am going right into law school from undergrad. I have never held a full-time job anywhere or established any sort of connection to an area other than living where I grew up and went to undergrad. I don't understand how or why a law firm would base the decision to hire someone on where they grew up or have "ties" if they went to a law school in the same exact city?

Also, why then are the out-of-state numbers high for the schools I have listed: Nebraska (32%), Miami (50%), and South Carolina (35%)?

I am not trying to sound hostile and I appreciate everyone's responses, but I guess I am just unaware of the "ties" argument that seems to be popping up here.


I went to a way better school than all these listed above and yet "ties" were extremely important for entering the local job market. Basically the first thing the interviewers probed was your connection the area. It was almost tribal. They were terrified in the worst market since the great depression that I was going to wake up one day and take a big shot job in New York.

Maybe median was getting interviews if you were from the region. If not, maybe top 20 percent.

It was funny, because they would list the high school of their associates just to prove their connection to the region and clients.
Last edited by JamesChapman23 on Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

2014jd
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby 2014jd » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:06 pm

I'm going to have to jump on board and say you may want to reconsider your choices. I usually am not one to tell people they shouldn't follow a particular path if they want, but I will here because you're asking and these choices seem devoid of good reasons.

I'll admit that I know nothing about the specifics about each of these legal markets, but I can pretty well assume that they are not great, and most importantly they are all going to care about ties to the area. Every recruiting/hiring/whoever partner that has come to my school (tOSU) to talk about how to land a job has stressed the importance of selling your ties to the area. Going to school in that area is not necessarily going to be enough. Go over to the thread where a Small Firm Hiring partner is answering questions and ask him if going to St. Louis U or even WUSTL for that matter, would be enough to convince him of your ties to the area.

I can understand not wanting to stay in Pennsylvania, but I urge you to reassess your choices. Determine if there is any possible way you can take a year off and get into a school with more national reach. Or see if you can go to a school in NYC where supposedly they don't care about ties. Or lastly, start thinking now of how you are going to integrate yourself into the area once you choose one of these schools. Maybe think about joining some community organizations outside of the law school.

2014jd
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby 2014jd » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:11 pm

JamesChapman23 wrote:
hailtopitt007 wrote:I must not understand the whole "ties" definition here. I am going right into law school from undergrad. I have never held a full-time job anywhere or established any sort of connection to an area other than living where I grew up and went to undergrad. I don't understand how or why a law firm would base the decision to hire someone on where they grew up or have "ties" if they went to a law school in the same exact city?

Also, why then are the out-of-state numbers high for the schools I have listed: Nebraska (32%), Miami (50%), and South Carolina (35%)?

I am not trying to sound hostile and I appreciate everyone's responses, but I guess I am just unaware of the "ties" argument that seems to be popping up here.


I went to a way better school than all these listed above and yet "ties" were extremely important for entering the local job market. Basically the first thing the interviewers probed was your connection the area. It was almost tribal.

Maybe median was getting interviews if you were from the region. If not, maybe top 20 percent.

It was funny, because they would list the high school of their associates just to prove their connection to the region and clients.



At OSU it's hard to crack the Cincy market w/o listing your high school. I applied to a Cleveland firm that specifically stated they preferred applicants with ties to the city.

OP -- ties are huge ITE, as I mentioned in my earlier post. They include growing up there, going to undergrad there, living there for a decent period of time before law school, having family there, having a husband/wife/partner with a job there, or some other combination of things that you can sell to the hiring partner that you intend to stay in the area for at least 5 years. Again go ask "Sm Firm Hiring P" what you could do to sell/create ties to the area.

timbs4339
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:16 pm

hailtopitt007 wrote:I must not understand the whole "ties" definition here. I am going right into law school from undergrad. I have never held a full-time job anywhere or established any sort of connection to an area other than living where I grew up and went to undergrad. I don't understand how or why a law firm would base the decision to hire someone on where they grew up or have "ties" if they went to a law school in the same exact city?

Also, why then are the out-of-state numbers high for the schools I have listed: Nebraska (32%), Miami (50%), and South Carolina (35%)?

I am not trying to sound hostile and I appreciate everyone's responses, but I guess I am just unaware of the "ties" argument that seems to be popping up here.


By ties we simply mean where you grew up and went to college. Working somewhere for a few years can also help establish ties even if you did not grow up there. There are a few reasons why ties are important.

1) When you graduate law school, you are unprepared to practice law. Therefore, employers need to invest a certain amount of time and money into your training before you become profitable. Employers like to see evidence that you will stick around after they have provided this training. It doesn't do them much good to train you for a couple years when your ultimate goal is to return home. While having ties to a place does not mean you will stay there, you are much more likely to stay if you have family, friends, and history where you are working.

2) Employers like to hire people who they connect with. If you are a good ol' boy from SC interviewing candidates for jobs in South Carolina, it is much easier to connect with someone who also grew up in South Carolina.

3) For state and local government or public interest jobs, or even smaller private practice jobs where you are dealing with clients on a day to day basis, employers might find it helpful to hire someone who is from the state, and therefore presumably cares about making it a better place or will interact more fluidly with people from the area.

The reason there may be a high percentage of people from out-of-state at these schools are 1) prospective law students are pretty ignorant of the job market in general, 2) schools like out-of-state students, as they pay higher tuition.

Check out these quotes from the TLS profiles on Nebraska and South Carolina

Nebraska- "The majority of graduates wind up working in either Nebraska or the immediate vicinity (the next most common state being Missouri). Very few ended up in the Middle Atlantic and none in New England, so Nebraska Law is definitely not the school for those with their hearts set on working in Boston or NYC. That said, 11.4% of the 2008 graduating class found work in the southern half of the Eastern Seaboard. For those looking to stay and work in the Great Plains, Nebraska Law is hard to beat, especially given the low in-state tuition."

South Carolina- "The large majority of South Carolina graduates take the Bar in-state. The school sports a passage rate of 92.4%, which is quite strong compared to the state-wide passage rate of 82%. Once the Bar is behind them, South Carolina graduates struggle to find immediate work. In fact, more than 38% of graduates were unemployed at the time of graduation in 2007, according to USNews." (if people take the bar in a state, it's a good indicator they are looking to practice there).

hailtopitt007
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby hailtopitt007 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:19 pm

James, timbs, and 2014jd: that explained a lot and has cleared up a lot of things for me now, I really appreciate the explanations.

So, now my next question, and 2014jd, you kind of hinted at this here: if I were to join local organizations (community, religious, political, etc.) and be able to show a potential employer that I have established ties and footing in the area while attending law school, would that at least help to prove that I am committed to staying in the area? I guess I'm just having trouble wrapping my head around this because I know of a few individuals who took job offers in the cities where they attended law school even though they had no prior ties to the area.

Also, does any of this discussion about ties to the area matter for any type of government or corporate position (I know timbs mentioned this) or is that mainly for private firms only? For example, if I pursue corporate and securities law and get an interview with some large national corporation's legal department in Miami, are they going to question my ties to the area?

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reformed calvinist
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby reformed calvinist » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:21 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
hailtopitt007 wrote:
TemporarySaint wrote:You probably shouldn't go to any of these schools. What about something more local like Penn St.?


Thanks for the response, but why do you think I shouldn't go to any of these schools?

I don't have any interest in attending Penn St.


Miami is in Southern Florida- an extremely saturated legal market. Florida has 11 law schools, plus the many T14 students who want to go back, yet it does not have nearly enough demand for legal services or the government support to create an entry level legal market like the one that exists in CA, DC, NY, TX, or IL (other large states).

South Carolina and Nebraska are extremely regional schools. Their employers are looking for people who are from the state or region. It will be difficult to articulate why you want to work in those markets if you have never worked there.

St. John's is the worst option on the list. It is in perhaps the most in-demand legal market in the country, that draws students from almost every school in the country, and is behind CLS, NYU, Cornell, Fordham, Brooklyn, Cardozo, and maybe even NYLS in the NYC pecking order. Yet it costs as much as a T14 school. If I could choose one to avoid at all costs, it would be St. Johns.

Honestly, if you are willing to relocate to anywhere, you might want to consider working in the oil boomtowns of North Dakota. There was a story about an unemployed BC law grad who now makes about 100K driving an oil truck.


Born and raised in Miami. Overrated. Never intend on going back. If you want sun, clubs and urban sprawl go to SoCal.

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reformed calvinist
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby reformed calvinist » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:30 pm

hailtopitt007 wrote:Also, why then are the out-of-state numbers high for the schools I have listed: Nebraska (32%), Miami (50%), and South Carolina (35%)?


I will bet my left testicle that the out of staters from Nebraska are people from neighboring states like Wyoming and South Dakota. Some schools in the area have reciprocity agreements (e.g. I know SD residents get in-state tuition at UMN), but I don't know about there. Same with SC-people from the South.

Miami needs no explanation. Apparently people will come from the other side of the country for that city. For the life of me I will never understand it. In terms of quality job experience, Miami is awesome if you're interested in PD (one of my parents worked in that office) or the State Attorney's office. If I were location agnostic, Miami State attorney's office would be in my top five, after the Manhattan and Queens, etc. DA. It is very competitive though.

I'd be willing to bet that for every attorney at Carlton Fields, et al you have 10 taking out ABOGADO bus stop ads. By the way, do you speak Spanish? If you don't, huge strike against you at any sort of PI, and huge strike against you hanging your own shingle. If you wanted to hang a shingle as a plaintiff's attorney for lack of other options, you'd be missing out on an unfathomably large client base. I mean, there's no shortage of DUIs and traffic tickets in this town, but even the market for that is saturated.

As far as job prospects in the absolute, I doubt Nebraska has any competition from any other school in its market. Which is probably good, I just have no idea how many actual jobs there are.
Last edited by reformed calvinist on Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby bobbyh1919 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:33 pm

hailtopitt007 wrote:James, timbs, and 2014jd: that explained a lot and has cleared up a lot of things for me now, I really appreciate the explanations.

So, now my next question, and 2014jd, you kind of hinted at this here: if I were to join local organizations (community, religious, political, etc.) and be able to show a potential employer that I have established ties and footing in the area while attending law school, would that at least help to prove that I am committed to staying in the area? I guess I'm just having trouble wrapping my head around this because I know of a few individuals who took job offers in the cities where they attended law school even though they had no prior ties to the area.

Also, does any of this discussion about ties to the area matter for any type of government or corporate position (I know timbs mentioned this) or is that mainly for private firms only? For example, if I pursue corporate and securities law and get an interview with some large national corporation's legal department in Miami, are they going to question my ties to the area?



I would say if you're joining random organizations in (Nebraska/Miami/South Carolina) in order to show potential employers that you're tied down to the area, you're probably going about the whole process incorrectly. Basically it comes down to whether or not firms can trust that any investments they make in you will pay off. 3 years of living in an area across the country from your home is unlikely to give anyone this reassurance, even if you have joined a few local organizations in that time.

hailtopitt007
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby hailtopitt007 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:35 pm

reformed calvinist wrote:
hailtopitt007 wrote:Also, why then are the out-of-state numbers high for the schools I have listed: Nebraska (32%), Miami (50%), and South Carolina (35%)?


I will bet my left testicle that the out of staters from Nebraska are people from neighboring states like Wyoming and South Dakota. Some schools in the area have reciprocity agreements (e.g. I know SD residents get in-state tuition at UMN), but I don't know about there. Same with SC-people from the South.

Miami needs no explanation. Apparently people will come from the other side of the country for that city. For the life of me I will never understand it. In terms of quality job experience, Miami is awesome if you're interested in PD (one of my parents worked in that office) or the State Attorney's office. It is very competitive though.

I'd be willing to bet that for every attorney at Carlton Fields, et al you have 10 taking out ABOGADO bus stop ads. By the way, do you speak Spanish? If you don't, huge strike against you at any sort of PI, and huge strike against you hanging your own shingle. I mean, there's no shortage of DUIs and traffic tickets in this town, but even the market for that is saturated.

As far as job prospects in the absolute, I doubt Nebraska has any competition from any other school in its market. Which is probably good, I just have no idea how many actual jobs there are.


It's definitely nice to hear from someone who actually knows the area of one of the schools, thanks. I do know a decent amount of Spanish, but I'd definitely have to reacquaint myself with the language.

See, the DA or State Attorney or even U.S. Attorney's office is something that I am interested in and I feel like they don't really mind the "ties" argument too much, but then again, I'm not completely sure about that.

And I was thinking the same thing with Nebraska's job market...probably somewhat unsaturated since they only graduate about 120 JDs per year

rad lulz
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby rad lulz » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:38 pm

.
Last edited by rad lulz on Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hailtopitt007
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Re: Miami vs. Nebraska

Postby hailtopitt007 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:42 pm

rad lulz wrote:Being from where you're from, in at those schools, at those prices, I'd rather immolate myself than go.


Cool, thanks?




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