Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

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CMLaw
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Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby CMLaw » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:30 am

I have to choose between 3 Florida schools (keep in mind I am not a resident of Florida): U Miami, FIU, St. Thomas.

I will continue to fund my own education and need to take out loans for everything including housing, so money will play a large part in my decision. I also plan to work in the non-profit/ public interest field, so I will not be making a ton of money as an attorney.

So far, I have turned down UM due to its high cost of attendance. It would ultimately put me into almost $300,000 in debt after graduation (combined with my $60,000 in undergrad loans). After I take 10-30 years to pay that off, that amount will have nearly doubled!!!

So it's between FIU and St. Thomas. What is the difference between the two law schools???

The only difference I find is that St. Thomas has offered me a 50% scholarship coming in and told me that they are very generous after the first year if I continue to do well (which I am quite certain I will). I hear they offer the top 10% a full ride, and the top 25% a 75% scholarship after the first year.

FIU has not yet offered me any type of scholarship, but I did receive a $5,000 grant. However, since I am out of State I will pay $30,000/year for FIU. IF I can apply for residency after the first year the tuition will drop to $15,000/year ($20,000- $5,000 grant). Overall, FIU will still cost me more than St. Thomas. Is FIU worth the extra money??

I am visiting both schools next week to make my final decision... any advice!?!?!

Thank you!

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noleknight16
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby noleknight16 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:20 pm

You must earn FL residency. While living in FL to earn residency, retake your LSAT and get high enough for UF or FSU.

rad lulz
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby rad lulz » Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:45 pm

lol @ OPs special snowflake syndrome.

OP, those options all suck for those prices. I mean, unless you don't want a job after law school for some reason. I wouldn't go to FIU or St. Thomas even if they were both free, considering your $60k UG debt. You need to work on paying off your UG debt, preferably in FL like previous poster said, and get into UF/FSU with in-state or UM with a boatload of money.

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North
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby North » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:02 pm

UF and FSU (and UM, if you can get it for cheap) are the only schools in Florida worth attending. Especially if you're debt-conscious (as you should be).
noleknight16 wrote:You must earn FL residency. While living in FL to earn residency, retake your LSAT and get high enough for UF or FSU.
This is the best advice you're going to get. I live in Florida and know a few graduates of the schools you're considering. Generally, it's not pretty. Huge debt, few prospects. If you want to be a lawyer, take the time to do it right and put yourself in the best position possible.

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1776
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby 1776 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:14 pm

Not sure if serious.

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Nova
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby Nova » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:19 pm

If serious, Retake or dont go.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby Doorkeeper » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:22 pm

noleknight16 wrote:You must earn FL residency. While living in FL to earn residency, retake your LSAT and get high enough for UF or FSU.

THIS!

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JCFindley
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby JCFindley » Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:21 pm

I might add Stetson to the list if it were free with a living expense and you wanted to live in Tampa and you are OK with waiting tables if you aren't at the top of your class....

Just in case this is a real question and the OP has done little research up until now.....

Yes, it is possible to get a job as an attorney going to almost any school.... But the likelihood of doing so varies widely from the top schools to the bottom ones.... The thing is the bottom schools with low job prospects cost as much as the top schools... The two schools you are still considering have HORRIBLE job placement stats but will leave you with a huge amount of debt with little chance of paying that off. Worst case scenario is you get the degree and have a harder time finding a job than you do now because you went to LS. Seriously, some employers are scared to hire a law student much less an unemployed attorney because they are scared you might sue them...... Think about it, you end up with 100 to 300 K in Debt and the Cheesecake Factory won't even hire you..... At the very least improve the LSAT enough to go for free and that LSAT study is like working for an easy 200K....

You are FAR better off moving to FL, work as a bartender or whatever in PC Beach and get in state residency WHILE you study your butt off and get a great LSAT that will get you money at FSU or UF....

CMLaw
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby CMLaw » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:09 pm

I took the LSAT 3 times after studying for a year, and 156 is as good as it gets for me! I'm just a bad test taker!

What if I did really well the first year and than transferred to a better school? Say it's possible, which school would be best to transfer from? (St. Thomas or FIU)

Also, as far as jobs go, I've worked for a large legal organization which employs around 200-300 attorneys for the past 2 years. They have already offered for me to come back as an intern. As long as I do well during the internship, and considering everyone likes me, I assume I will be granted employment. So, I feel like I have a bit of a safety net.

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Nova
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby Nova » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:25 pm

In that case, I think you should take the money at St. Thomas. What is the stipulation (gpa/classrank?) on the St. Thomas scholarship ? Worst case, Drop out if you do not meet the stips after 1L. Consider dropping out if you are not above the median.

To transfer into the T14 you need:
-top 10-15% at T1, top 5-10% for CCN
-top 5-10% at a T2, top 5% for CCN
-top 1-2% at a T3/T4
-Other notes: Depending on how far up you want to transfer, you may even succeed if you are ranked top 20-30%. For example, if you are transferring up like 10-15 spots, top 20-30% maybe enough (like a lateral transfer). Also, people in the T3/T4 generally only have a shot at transfer friendly schools in the T14.

To transfer into the T1 you need:
-top 10-20% at a T2
-top 5-10% at T3
-top 5% at T4
-Other notes: Depending on just exactly where you are and how far up you want to transfer, you can again make the jump by being in the top 20-30%.

To transfer into the T2 you need:
-top 10-20% at a T3/T4


viewtopic.php?f=27&t=82937

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby Bildungsroman » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:34 pm

CMLaw wrote: I'm just a bad test taker!
Then you are going to do very badly in law school. All of your first-year grades (except for legal writing) will be determined entirely by exams, and usually just a single exam at the end of the semester. You will be expected, in 3 hours, read 10 pages of facts and prompts and then write 15+ pages in response, where your grade is determined not just by how well you do but how well your classmates do too. It's very difficult, and maybe impossible, for a bad test taker to do well in law school.


CMLaw wrote:What if I did really well the first year and than transferred to a better school? Say it's possible, which school would be best to transfer from? (St. Thomas or FIU)

Don't enroll at a law school expecting to transfer up. There's a 90% chance you'll be outside the top 10% and therefore stuck at whatever school you're at (and none of the schools that have admitted you would be worth attending totally for free, let alone for such significant debt).

CMLaw wrote:Also, as far as jobs go, I've worked for a large legal organization which employs around 200-300 attorneys for the past 2 years. They have already offered for me to come back as an intern. As long as I do well during the internship, and considering everyone likes me, I assume I will be granted employment. So, I feel like I have a bit of a safety net.
Anyone can get a legal internship. Right now you're assuming that this internship will lead to full-time employment, which is a dangerous thing to assume. Don't consider an off-chance at a job to be a real safety net.

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noleknight16
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby noleknight16 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:47 pm

What is your GPA? Where do you live? There's gotta be better/cheaper options than St Thomas or FIU OOS.

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romothesavior
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:01 pm

Would hack off my pinky with a rusty saw before doing any of these options. hth

Also the answer to the title is Nova Southeastern

abc12345675
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby abc12345675 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:10 pm

Get a job. Pay off your undergrad loans. Retake and reapply in 5 years.

rad lulz
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby rad lulz » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:04 pm

romothesavior wrote:Would hack off my pinky with a rusty saw before doing any of these options. hth

Also the answer to the title is Nova Southeastern

Barry is way better bro.

PanhandleShitlaw
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby PanhandleShitlaw » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:03 pm

I'm an crim defense attorney who went to FSU and graduated around the time of the economic crisis. I know a ton of people from every school in FL, including from the TTTs. I know outcomes. I'm doing OK but not as well as I expected before graduation. About 5-6 years after graduation I will be done with my student loans.

Right now, the job prospects from FSU and UF are horrible. Even attorneys that have been out for a while are having trouble servicing their debt. There is a significant chance that graduates of these schools will NOT get legal jobs and will not succeed as attorneys.

Keep several things in mind:
-FSU and UF are both ranked WAY higher than anything else in FL. Their job outcomes are the best in Florida.
-FSU and UF are both WAY cheaper than anything else in FL (assuming you go in-state tuition, which you would be utterly retarded to not do). Their debt outcomes are again, the best in Florida.
-every outcome in a FL school that is not UF or FSU is going to be many orders of magnitude worse in terms of debt load and income

You should definitely not attend a school like Barry that is both extremely low ranked and extremely costly- you will graduate under a mountain of debt and spend the rest of your life as a barista. If you're lucky and no one asks about the 3 year gap in your resume.

edit- OP- spend a year in florida earning residency (perhaps even working in some sort of legal capacity (ie, a secretary or something)) while you improve your LSATs and try to get into a real law school. And even then you only have so-so chances of this being a ticket to wealth. At least it won't be a guaranteed ticket to lifelong poverty.

drgonzo
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby drgonzo » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:25 am

I attended law school at one of the three non-FIU law schools in Miami/FLL and graduated recently. I had the chance to be around and work with students of all four Miami schools. To answer your question, the vibe in the area is that FIU is on the move to better itself and the best value. If I knew that FIU existed, I would have applied and attended.

I think FIU is the best deal, Nova is a sleeper with a strong alumni base relative to its ranking, St. Thomas is third but will keep you out of private loan territory, and UM gets non-option status due to cost.

I am not going to comment on your prospects beyond law school.

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romothesavior
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:46 pm

PanhandleShitlaw wrote:I'm an crim defense attorney who went to FSU and graduated around the time of the economic crisis. I know a ton of people from every school in FL, including from the TTTs. I know outcomes. I'm doing OK but not as well as I expected before graduation. About 5-6 years after graduation I will be done with my student loans.

Right now, the job prospects from FSU and UF are horrible. Even attorneys that have been out for a while are having trouble servicing their debt. There is a significant chance that graduates of these schools will NOT get legal jobs and will not succeed as attorneys.

Keep several things in mind:
-FSU and UF are both ranked WAY higher than anything else in FL. Their job outcomes are the best in Florida.
-FSU and UF are both WAY cheaper than anything else in FL (assuming you go in-state tuition, which you would be utterly retarded to not do). Their debt outcomes are again, the best in Florida.
-every outcome in a FL school that is not UF or FSU is going to be many orders of magnitude worse in terms of debt load and income

You should definitely not attend a school like Barry that is both extremely low ranked and extremely costly- you will graduate under a mountain of debt and spend the rest of your life as a barista. If you're lucky and no one asks about the 3 year gap in your resume.

edit- OP- spend a year in florida earning residency (perhaps even working in some sort of legal capacity (ie, a secretary or something)) while you improve your LSATs and try to get into a real law school. And even then you only have so-so chances of this being a ticket to wealth. At least it won't be a guaranteed ticket to lifelong poverty.

Solid poast, glad this was shared.

jeffyl00b
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby jeffyl00b » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:37 pm

I hate to be a downer, even if this website is nothing but downers populating it, but getting residency by being a bartender and actually being able to afford the rent is partly a pipe dream in itself. Seen the economy? Seen the rents? Plus the fact that in the business(the ones you all are mentioning, not the law one), they don't like hiring people with out of state ID's or resumes. Lot of transients, they all complain and skip out.

All are welcome to prove me wrong, find me a decent job and affordable rent, I've been looking like everyone else.

PanhandleShitlaw
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Re: Florida Law Schools for 2012, which is best?

Postby PanhandleShitlaw » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:48 am

This isn't true. Tallahassee's rental market is very soft right now and Gainesville is not much better. It's totally a renter's market, all over Florida. Actually, it's a buyer's market too if you have decent credit. Property is down to 1/3rd of what it was 2-3 years ago. I could bore you by posting several dozen anecdotes about how awesome cost of living is in Florida these days, but why bother? Besides the retarded price of gas, it's never been cheaper to live in FL. I've been here about 10 years, for what it's worth.

As for making money, there are jobs out there, but there are more people competing for them than usual. Just try harder and be persistent even when you want to kill yourself.

My latest job switch came from an utterly random phone call to some dude's secretary at exactly the right time, asking if they were hiring (turns out they were). He emailed me back and within a few weeks I had a new job. But this was after dozens of failed attempts to leverage my network of friends and family to get me into various firms. The job market is really brutal these days. Even with an "in" and solid qualifications, you're not assured of a position. Those are basically the new minimum qualifications.

The upside to all this is that once you find a job, the world is your oyster. Everything is up for grabs right now- real estate, cars, etc.




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