Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

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DesperateNWaiting
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Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby DesperateNWaiting » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:57 pm

Well, I'm trying to make the final decision concerning the destination for my legal education, and it's really boiled down to two options.

The University of Alabama (29) has offered me $20,000 a year, and tuition will probably be just shy of $19k for this coming year (so the additional scholarship could probably cover books and nothing more.) I am from Birmingham, and so I have connections in Alabama. UA certainly seems like the responsible financial choice, but I'm not sure that I want to practice or work in Alabama. I'm sure that I will have options outside of AL should I pursue them, but realistically, my options will be largely limited to the Southeast.

The University of Texas at Austin (16) has offered me $7,000 a year in scholarships plus an NRTE, bringing the total tuition cost to about $75k over three years. I really slacked off in college, and did not do nearly as well on my LSAT as I would have wanted, so part of me wants to go to the best school that I've gotten into just so that I can finally prove myself. I know nothing about Texas really, but plan to visit after I graduate in May.

A little bit of personal background that might help illuminate my circumstances.

I just turned 20 in December, and I have basically been totally dependent on my parents financially. Well, my mom and dad are pushing 55, and so I will be taking on the entirety of my expenses after graduation. They could bail me out if I really fucked up my loans, so I'm not THAT afraid of the debt even if for some reason I cannot find a job.

Thanks in advance for any insight that anyone can offer.

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Dany
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby Dany » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:10 pm

You need to take time off after undergrad and decide what you want to do and where you want to do it. You're VERY young, and law school will always be there. You also mentioned that you didn't do as well on the LSAT as you'd have liked, so you can retake that if you want other options outside of Alabama.

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Chucky21
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby Chucky21 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:21 pm

If you just turned 20 then you have a couple years of college left, so It's time to buckle down and stop slacking off. Get your GPA as high as you can make it, and give everything you have into LSAT prep. Yes, this means that the social life is going to take a hit. But like you said, you need to prove yourself, so this is your chance.

Take a year off if you feel like it, or if you believe you are not 'ready' for law school. Ultimately this choice is different for everyone. Some want to do something 'different.' Others have that feeling that they want to go into law and go straight in. There are success stories from people coming from either route. Time off is not for everyone. That means one year of not working toward your goal. Obviously a year off to retake and reapply is another issue. But simply taking a year off for the hell of it does not seem to make the most sense. Even if you haven't 'found' yourself yet.

Paul Campos
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby Paul Campos » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:28 pm

This is not a good time to take out $120K in loans in order to move to a state and enter a profession neither of which you know anything about, in order to prove something to yourself. (Actually there's never a good time for that, but this is a particularly bad time).

If you insist on going to law school right now anyway, go to Alabama and live at home, at least for the last two years.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:31 pm

1) What do you want to do after law school?
2) Where do you want to do it?
3) Stats? And any strong reasons for why retaking isn't an option?

UT at 25K a year is a good deal IMO. (Maybe I'm slightly biased though.) But law school might not be the best choice for you right now if you really don't know why you are going.

DesperateNWaiting
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby DesperateNWaiting » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:52 pm

Chucky21 wrote:If you just turned 20 then you have a couple years of college left


No, I'm just graduating two years early.

DesperateNWaiting
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby DesperateNWaiting » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:57 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:1) What do you want to do after law school?
2) Where do you want to do it?
3) Stats? And any strong reasons for why retaking isn't an option?

UT at 25K a year is a good deal IMO. (Maybe I'm slightly biased though.) But law school might not be the best choice for you right now if you really don't know why you are going.


1) I really want to work in some corporate area of corporate law, making decent money.
2) I really don't care.
3) It's not that retaking isn't an option. I was consistently scoring in the 175-176 range in practice tests, but ended up getting a 168. I really just want to capitalize on my age, already being young, to get a head start on the rest of my peers.

DesperateNWaiting
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby DesperateNWaiting » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:59 pm

Paul Campos wrote:This is not a good time to take out $120K in loans in order to move to a state and enter a profession neither of which you know anything about, in order to prove something to yourself. (Actually there's never a good time for that, but this is a particularly bad time).

If you insist on going to law school right now anyway, go to Alabama and live at home, at least for the last two years.


I feel you. It's not that I want to go to Texas to "prove myself," though; that was poor phrasing on my part. What I mean is that since I know I could have gotten into better programs, I want to go to the best program that I got into in order to maximize my future opportunities.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:07 pm

DesperateNWaiting wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:1) What do you want to do after law school?
2) Where do you want to do it?
3) Stats? And any strong reasons for why retaking isn't an option?

UT at 25K a year is a good deal IMO. (Maybe I'm slightly biased though.) But law school might not be the best choice for you right now if you really don't know why you are going.


1) I really want to work in some corporate area of corporate law, making decent money.
2) I really don't care.
3) It's not that retaking isn't an option. I was consistently scoring in the 175-176 range in practice tests, but ended up getting a 168. I really just want to capitalize on my age, already being young, to get a head start on the rest of my peers.


Your age is actually a disadvantage. You will be distinctly young at any law school--and not in a good way, at least when it comes to on campus interviews. Unless you look and act older than you really are, your age will most likely be a mark against you at most firms.

What's your GPA? I'm assuming fairly high since you got accepted to UT with $$. You should retake and go to T14 for free (or UT if you really want to work in Texas/the south). Take a year and try to make sure that law school is the right choice. Enjoy a year of having free time before law school then starting your professional career. There's no need to rush through life--especially when you could save yourself tens of thousands of dollars by being more patient.

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Kikero
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby Kikero » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:09 pm

DesperateNWaiting wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:1) What do you want to do after law school?
2) Where do you want to do it?
3) Stats? And any strong reasons for why retaking isn't an option?

UT at 25K a year is a good deal IMO. (Maybe I'm slightly biased though.) But law school might not be the best choice for you right now if you really don't know why you are going.


1) I really want to work in some corporate area of corporate law, making decent money.
2) I really don't care.
3) It's not that retaking isn't an option. I was consistently scoring in the 175-176 range in practice tests, but ended up getting a 168. I really just want to capitalize on my age, already being young, to get a head start on the rest of my peers.


I was also 20 when I graduated, and like you I wanted to get a jump start with law school and my legal career, but due to the options available to me, I decided to wait a year instead. I'm glad that I took this year off. Three reasons why I think you should consider (obviously it's your decision, this is just a recommendation) retaking and waiting a year:

1. If you are scoring 175-176, there is NO reason why you should settle with a 168 LSAT score. Take the test again this summer, and again in the fall if necessary. If you can score a bit higher, you can make a new thread asking Alabama (Stipend) vs. T14 ($$$).

2. Even taking one year off and working made me more sure that I wanted to go into law, and gave me some work experience outside of an academic setting, plus you can save up more money by working. With a stipend at Alabama and being able to live at home, you won't have many other expenses, but if you do get into a better school, even a full tuition scholarship will leave you needing some loans, and being able to minimize that through the job you get in an interim year will be a relief.

3. Alcohol. (Ok, so this one might not be as important) This isn't something I even thought of when I applied last year, but all of your classmates will be over 21. Even just after attending an ASW, I came to the conclusion that being an underage law student would suck.

DesperateNWaiting
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby DesperateNWaiting » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:11 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
Your age is actually a disadvantage. You will be distinctly young at any law school--and not in a good way, at least when it comes to on campus interviews. Unless you look and act older than you really are, your age will most likely be a mark against you at most firms.

What's your GPA? I'm assuming fairly high since you got accepted to UT with $$. You should retake and go to T14 for free (or UT if you really want to work in Texas/the south). Take a year and try to make sure that law school is the right choice. Enjoy a year of having free time before law school then starting your professional career. There's no need to rush through life--especially when you could save yourself tens of thousands of dollars by being more patient.


Well, I'm 6'4", 250, and have had a subsonic voice since I was 12. No one guessing my age in the past 5 years has put me under 23. I definitely do not think that I come off as "young" in any way.

I have a 3.7, and am graduating with a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science (Double Major; Honors program).

I don't want to rush, but I have a distinct fear that if I wait and end up fucking the LSAT again, then I will have wasted a year.

DesperateNWaiting
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby DesperateNWaiting » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:12 pm

Kikero wrote:
I was also 20 when I graduated, and like you I wanted to get a jump start with law school and my legal career, but due to the options available to me, I decided to wait a year instead. I'm glad that I took this year off. Three reasons why I think you should consider (obviously it's your decision, this is just a recommendation) retaking and waiting a year:

1. If you are scoring 175-176, there is NO reason why you should settle with a 168 LSAT score. Take the test again this summer, and again in the fall if necessary. If you can score a bit higher, you can make a new thread asking Alabama (Stipend) vs. T14 ($$$).

2. Even taking one year off and working made me more sure that I wanted to go into law, and gave me some work experience outside of an academic setting, plus you can save up more money by working. With a stipend at Alabama and being able to live at home, you won't have many other expenses, but if you do get into a better school, even a full tuition scholarship will leave you needing some loans, and being able to minimize that through the job you get in an interim year will be a relief.

3. Alcohol. (Ok, so this one might not be as important) This isn't something I even thought of when I applied last year, but all of your classmates will be over 21. Even just after attending an ASW, I came to the conclusion that being an underage law student would suck.


I appreciate the insight. I'll at least take another practice test to see if I would be up for going through LSAT hell again.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:14 pm

DesperateNWaiting wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
Your age is actually a disadvantage. You will be distinctly young at any law school--and not in a good way, at least when it comes to on campus interviews. Unless you look and act older than you really are, your age will most likely be a mark against you at most firms.

What's your GPA? I'm assuming fairly high since you got accepted to UT with $$. You should retake and go to T14 for free (or UT if you really want to work in Texas/the south). Take a year and try to make sure that law school is the right choice. Enjoy a year of having free time before law school then starting your professional career. There's no need to rush through life--especially when you could save yourself tens of thousands of dollars by being more patient.


Well, I'm 6'4", 250, and have had a subsonic voice since I was 12. No one guessing my age in the past 5 years has put me under 23. I definitely do not think that I come off as "young" in any way.

I have a 3.7, and am graduating with a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science (Double Major; Honors program).

I don't want to rush, but I have a distinct fear that if I wait and end up fucking the LSAT again, then I will have wasted a year.


Then start prepping to retake in June. If you fuck it up again then you can choose between Alabama or UT. If you improve just a few points, then you should think hard about waiting a year.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:30 pm

Your odds of working in "corporate law making good money" are going to be maybe 25% from Texas (lower from Bama). With a 3.7, if you score in the mid 170s, you can go to a T6 school and have 75% odds of doing "corporate law making good money." This isn't about wasting a year of your life now. It's about giving yourself better opportunities for the next 40+ years of your career. You need to take a broader view.

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Br3v
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby Br3v » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:34 pm

I honestly think OP's age is irrelevant. We know nothing bout OP and to give advice based on the fact that OP is what, 18-24 months younger than most graduates is not to strong imo.

OP, if those are your only two options I would take Bama, worse* case scenario you have a free JD and don't become a lawyer.

*assuming you do not lose scholarship

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:41 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Your odds of working in "corporate law making good money" are going to be maybe 25% from Texas (lower from Bama). With a 3.7, if you score in the mid 170s, you can go to a T6 school and have 75% odds of doing "corporate law making good money." This isn't about wasting a year of your life now. It's about giving yourself better opportunities for the next 40+ years of your career. You need to take a broader view.


Arbitrary percentage is arbitrary. More than 25% of UT students end up in biglaw, even at the low point for class of 2011 (if you're not including A3 clerkships with the NLJ numbers, you're doing it wrong). You certainly do not need to be top 25% to have a chance at big law--number is prob closer to 40% to median (though by no means will that guarantee you biglaw, you still got to be a good interviewer).

That said, completely agree that T6 schools drastically increase OP's odds of biglaw, especially outside of Texas.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:42 pm

Is the Alabama scholarship gpa/rank contingent?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:47 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Your odds of working in "corporate law making good money" are going to be maybe 25% from Texas (lower from Bama). With a 3.7, if you score in the mid 170s, you can go to a T6 school and have 75% odds of doing "corporate law making good money." This isn't about wasting a year of your life now. It's about giving yourself better opportunities for the next 40+ years of your career. You need to take a broader view.


Arbitrary percentage is arbitrary. More than 25% of UT students end up in biglaw, even at the low point for class of 2011 (if you're not including A3 clerkships with the NLJ numbers, you're doing it wrong). You certainly do not need to be top 25% to have a chance at big law--number is prob closer to 40% to median (though by no means will that guarantee you biglaw, you still got to be a good interviewer).

That said, completely agree that T6 schools drastically increase OP's odds of biglaw, especially outside of Texas.

Yeah, should have specified that I am pulling numbers out of my ass for the sake of illustration. No offense intended to UT. The point is that 3.7 + scoring 7-8 LSAT points below practice tests + 20 years old = apply again next year, especially for someone who 1) only wants to work in corporate law and 2) doesn't seem to have any real desire to be in Alabama or Texas.

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akili
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby akili » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:52 pm

Honestly, this is unrelated to career stuff (probably), but the couple of 1Ls I know who were under 21 for 1L missed out on a lot. If the social aspect isn't too important to you, then go ahead. The fact that you were scoring better AND are younger just begs for a retake and a year. Think of your opportunities if you do score around your PT average.

With that said, UT at 25k per year isn't bad at all.

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Br3v
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby Br3v » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:58 pm

yeah, plus side is that you could study for retake and gain at least some work experience that could perhaps set you apart from others next cycle

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:06 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:The point is that 3.7 + scoring 7-8 LSAT points below practice tests + 20 years old = apply again next year, especially for someone who 1) only wants to work in corporate law and 2) doesn't seem to have any real desire to be in Alabama or Texas.


Agreed.

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sunynp
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby sunynp » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:19 pm

DesperateNWaiting wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:1) What do you want to do after law school?
2) Where do you want to do it?
3) Stats? And any strong reasons for why retaking isn't an option?

UT at 25K a year is a good deal IMO. (Maybe I'm slightly biased though.) But law school might not be the best choice for you right now if you really don't know why you are going.


1) I really want to work in some corporate area of corporate law, making decent money.
2) I really don't care.
3) It's not that retaking isn't an option. I was consistently scoring in the 175-176 range in practice tests, but ended up getting a 168. I really just want to capitalize on my age, already being young, to get a head start on the rest of my peers.


There is no advantage or "head start" from finishing law school younger than everyone else. If you proceed with your plan of not retaking, you are actually putting yourself behind the top rank of your peers. The smart thing to do is to take a year and kill the LSAT and get into a T6 or get a full ride somewhere else.

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The Rover
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby The Rover » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:27 pm

So you could graduate from 'bama with 0 debt? Sounds like a good option if you decide you want to stay in Alabama. If not though retaking is probably your best bet.

zanzbar
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby zanzbar » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:42 pm

sunynp wrote:
DesperateNWaiting wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:1) What do you want to do after law school?
2) Where do you want to do it?
3) Stats? And any strong reasons for why retaking isn't an option?

UT at 25K a year is a good deal IMO. (Maybe I'm slightly biased though.) But law school might not be the best choice for you right now if you really don't know why you are going.


1) I really want to work in some corporate area of corporate law, making decent money.
2) I really don't care.
3) It's not that retaking isn't an option. I was consistently scoring in the 175-176 range in practice tests, but ended up getting a 168. I really just want to capitalize on my age, already being young, to get a head start on the rest of my peers.


There is no advantage or "head start" from finishing law school younger than everyone else. If you proceed with your plan of not retaking, you are actually putting yourself behind the top rank of your peers. The smart thing to do is to take a year and kill the LSAT and get into a T6 or get a full ride somewhere else.


You are overlooking the advantage of earning potential. Let's be honest with those degrees he might not be able to find that great of a job right now, but if he hits big law (100k+ job by 23 seems pretty awesome.) If he bounces out of big law in the typical 3-5 years he has made some pretty good money, for his age, paid off a good portion of his debt if he goes to UT, and he is still a few years from 30. Anyways I would vote retake in June, and if you don't substantially improve (170+) then go to UT, I think their big law prospects are somewhere close to 35-40%. Have you tried leveraging that UT offer with your Alabama offer?

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sunynp
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Re: Alabama (Stipend) v. UT Austin ($25k/year)

Postby sunynp » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:11 am

zanzbar wrote:
sunynp wrote:
DesperateNWaiting wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:1) What do you want to do after law school?
2) Where do you want to do it?
3) Stats? And any strong reasons for why retaking isn't an option?

UT at 25K a year is a good deal IMO. (Maybe I'm slightly biased though.) But law school might not be the best choice for you right now if you really don't know why you are going.


1) I really want to work in some corporate area of corporate law, making decent money.
2) I really don't care.
3) It's not that retaking isn't an option. I was consistently scoring in the 175-176 range in practice tests, but ended up getting a 168. I really just want to capitalize on my age, already being young, to get a head start on the rest of my peers.


There is no advantage or "head start" from finishing law school younger than everyone else. If you proceed with your plan of not retaking, you are actually putting yourself behind the top rank of your peers. The smart thing to do is to take a year and kill the LSAT and get into a T6 or get a full ride somewhere else.


You are overlooking the advantage of earning potential. Let's be honest with those degrees he might not be able to find that great of a job right now, but if he hits big law (100k+ job by 23 seems pretty awesome.) If he bounces out of big law in the typical 3-5 years he has made some pretty good money, for his age, paid off a good portion of his debt if he goes to UT, and he is still a few years from 30. Anyways I would vote retake in June, and if you don't substantially improve (170+) then go to UT, I think their big law prospects are somewhere close to 35-40%. Have you tried leveraging that UT offer with your Alabama offer?

I think his earning potential from a T6 school is much higher over time, even if you include a year off. If he gets into a T14 with a decent to great scholarship, he will still be ahead with a year off.

I don't know how many grads from Alabama or UT are getting 100,000+ jobs, but I am certain it is fewer than the grads from T6 schools. And even T6 grads don't have a lock on getting into biglaw. Counting on that biglaw salary when you haven't even walked into the door of law school is a huge mistake. OP should look instead at the risk of unemployment in any JD requiring job from those school and the number of people who don't have jobs at all. Employment stats are what matters.

Also, OP will have no life experience to talk about and no work history to help at OCI. OP's youth probably won't be a plus for recruiters, work experience would be much better. Perhaps OP can get a paralegal job in a firm in Alabama. He could observe the market first hand.

My strong inclination is that OP should go for the best school he can get into rather than focusing on how much younger he is than everyone else.




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