$$$$$$ wrote:Take my advice for what its worth, but if you have the LSAT score to get into UVA, then thats fine, pay sticker. Odds are you'll end up close enough to median to make grades become almost irrelevant to you getting a job. But you better be prepared to hustle your ass off, interview like a champ, do all the little things necessary, otherwise you'll be screwed.
If I were you OP, I would work, live, travel, teach in foreign countries, enjoy life for as long as possible before you come to law school. I am in my mid 20's, I feel like i'm 16 still, and im stressed like im 40. I'm lucky to have made things happen for myself (still not going to be as well paid as biglaw), but schools don't give a shit about you, you are just another tuition check, even at UVa. I'm not a riskaverse person, and I have confidence that I will totally fine in life, im sure you are too. But before you take the gamble, why not live it up while you still can?
Because the OP is from the South, the calculus is different for him.
jrstephens1991 wrote:Really depends on where you decide to practice in the south.
In a fairly large market like Atlanta, I believe it would definitely be worth it. Top law firms there take great honor in recruiting new attorneys from a school such as UVA.
However, if you decide to move to a smaller market like Birmingham, Columbia, any of the FL cities besides maybe Miami, or Nashville, it may be more of a stretch.
Once thing to consider is that in general the cost of living is much less in the south, hence lower salaries relative to other parts of the country. Definitely will take more than 3-4 years.
...then if you get married/have children soon after.. decades...
In response to the bolded. Not really. Atlanta is a market that focuses much more heavily on grades than school name. All things equal they prefer UVA grads, but they're going to pick top 10 percent UGA, Emory, and sometimes even Ga State over below median UVA any day. Further, it will be easier for the OP to get a job in almost every other market on your list than Atlanta. Atlanta is one of the most competitive legal markets in the country. Probably right up there with DC and Austin TX.