Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

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y-u-mad-bro
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Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby y-u-mad-bro » Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:00 am

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Last edited by y-u-mad-bro on Wed May 07, 2014 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:34 pm

y-u-mad-bro wrote:Hope everybody is enjoying the holidays, I was wondering if you could help me with a decision I need to make.

Recently I was admitted to UF, Vanderbilt, and Georgetown law. I am from Tampa, my family has lived here for over 30 years, and I am a UF graduate. Ideally, I'd like to come back to Tampa to practice. Some other influential information is that in my particular situation, I will graduate debt free from all of these schools. I also feel like my connections/ties in Tampa/Florida are quite solid.

Now the question I have is which school to attend, and why. I want a school that offers me the best opportunities for the future (duhh), which I see as a clerkship or big law in the short term. I'm not assuming I can land either, I'm just looking for the school that can offer me the best possibility to qualify for these positions. However, after researching and talking to local lawyers working for major firms, I've come to my own personal conclusion that big law sucks in the long run. Although I am open to the idea that I may actually like big law, I am extremely entrepreneurial with a strong business background. The main reason I am considering big law is because I view it as a necessary evil/apprenticeship on my path to becoming part of a boutique firm/opening my own (I already know, quite a lofty goal) and perhaps eventually making a run for the bench years later.

*A curveball is that I'd like to get litigation experience as early on as possible, something I understand big law may not be able to offer. If you have an idea for a way to build my resume while getting litigation experience, I'm all ears. For instance, public interest is a possibility that comes to mind. I'm interested to hear if this would be a better/worse path towards becoming part of a boutique firm, or would help more opening a solo practice.

Essentially, I am looking as long term as possible and trying to decide which school would help me the most (or limit me the least) on this path. Again, I am not assuming I can meet all of my aspirations, but as of right now this is my criteria and I am asking for your unbiased opinion. If more information would prove helpful, I'd be more than glad to supplement this post.

Thank you in advance!!




1. You sound like a 1%er. This will help you. Congrats on being born exceptionally well.


2. Big law will not give you any litigation experience.


3. The only thing that will give you actual courtroom experience is PD,DA, JAG, a few unique smaller firms. You can get all these by going to UF.

4. You can also get those jobs at Vandy and GULC. I'd pick between these two because they are both free for you and they will give you a wider range of options coming out of law school.

nebula666
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby nebula666 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:51 pm

I'm guessing if you got into Vandy and Gtown, you have a full ride or close from UF. Given what you want to do, I think that attending UF would be the best option.

If you are dead set on biglaw, Georgetown or Vandy is probably the better option. Only 11% from UF get biglaw, while 30%+ do from Gtown and Vandy. However, neither of those schools places 1% or more of their grads in Florida. Paying $250,000 for a degree from either of these without gunning for biglaw is probably not a great idea if you aren't certain that is what you want to do.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby BarbellDreams » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:00 am

If truly free at all, then Gtown. If money matters, take the fullride at UF.

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cahwc12
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby cahwc12 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:00 pm

First, don't waste your parents' money even if they are rich, and by that I mean consider cost in at least part of your decision.

Second, the only market in Tampa for lawyers is personal injury law.

Third, If you absolutely and truly want to do this, you might consider adding FSU to the list so that you can try to network your way into a government job with that law degree. I speak purely anecdotally, but two hard-working friends of mine that went to FSU law both graduated with nice government jobs and are doing quite well. YMMV, but if you have your heart set on FL, I really think you'd be doing yourself a disservice to not keep FSU in consideration. While UF is objectively better as an undergraduate institution for almost all areas of study, FSU has the objectively better law school.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=fsu
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=florida

I honestly think you should steer far clear of this state if you have any aspirations of practicing law. If you don't mind "putting in the work" by living/working/studying in another state for X years, then just go to the best school you can. You may love where you study/live/work for X years and decide you don't want to come back to Tampa. Then, if you do, the experience you have after graduation will be what trumps your degree.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:07 pm

cahwc12 wrote:FWhile UF is objectively better as an undergraduate institution for almost all areas of study, FSU has the objectively better law school.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=fsu
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=florida



LOL. Troll the internet and act like a huge douchbag much?

You are a 1L at FSU. Right?

Look douchzilla, just because FSU has a higher employment score than UF for 1 year doesn't mean shit. Hell, the numbers you just posted make me think UF is better-- higher big clerk/ big firm ratio. By the way, you realize that all of these numbers are SELF-REPORTED, right? If 15 more people at FSU scribble "full-time attorney" on their employment survey then boom-- FSU IS OBJECTIVELY BETTER.

By the way, I'm really sorry; I have no idea why I'm so angry today.

FSU and UF are both good schools for FL. No reason to shit your insecurity into this thread.

BigZuck
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby BigZuck » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:52 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:FWhile UF is objectively better as an undergraduate institution for almost all areas of study, FSU has the objectively better law school.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=fsu
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=florida



LOL. Troll the internet and act like a huge douchbag much?

You are a 1L at FSU. Right?

Look douchzilla, just because FSU has a higher employment score than UF for 1 year doesn't mean shit. Hell, the numbers you just posted make me think UF is better-- higher big clerk/ big firm ratio. By the way, you realize that all of these numbers are SELF-REPORTED, right? If 15 more people at FSU scribble "full-time attorney" on their employment survey then boom-- FSU IS OBJECTIVELY BETTER.

By the way, I'm really sorry; I have no idea why I'm so angry today.

FSU and UF are both good schools for FL. No reason to shit your insecurity into this thread.


y-u-mad-bro?

OP, if you're going to just blast through your parents' oodles of excess cash then go wherever you want and do whatever makes you happy. YOLO.

If you want to work in the south and want both clerkship and big law opportunities then I think Vanderbilt might be your best bet.

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cahwc12
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby cahwc12 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:30 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:FWhile UF is objectively better as an undergraduate institution for almost all areas of study, FSU has the objectively better law school.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=fsu
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=florida



LOL. Troll the internet and act like a huge douchbag much?

You are a 1L at FSU. Right?

Look douchzilla, just because FSU has a higher employment score than UF for 1 year doesn't mean shit. Hell, the numbers you just posted make me think UF is better-- higher big clerk/ big firm ratio. By the way, you realize that all of these numbers are SELF-REPORTED, right? If 15 more people at FSU scribble "full-time attorney" on their employment survey then boom-- FSU IS OBJECTIVELY BETTER.

By the way, I'm really sorry; I have no idea why I'm so angry today.

FSU and UF are both good schools for FL. No reason to shit your insecurity into this thread.


I wouldn't go to either school for law, but let me know how the "don't trust employment data because it's self-reported" works out for you.

nebula666
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby nebula666 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:34 am

I'm a 1L at UF so I'm sure anything I say will sound biased, but oh well. If you want a government job, go to FSU. Yes, they have a higher score on LST but they also have almost twice as many grads in public sector work. It's much easier to find summer employment in Tally without having to leave and waste money paying for your apartment over the summer (though this isn't a problem for OP). You also have the opportunity to work where you went to school once you graduate, which is nearly impossible at UF and I wouldn't want to stay in Gainesville post-graduation anyway.

UF has more people in the self reported under-employed category, but they are probably still making more money than the $45k average that FSU public sector grads are making. UF still has almost twice as many in biglaw and a few more grads in clerkships. UF is still considered by all firms to be the superior school, it has been around much longer, and the alumni network is very strong.

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jkpolk
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby jkpolk » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:49 am

Georgetown.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:15 pm

nebula666 wrote:
UF has more people in the self reported under-employed category, but they are probably still making more money than the $45k average that FSU public sector grads are making.


If you graduated from Harvard and you make a steady 45k, then maybe you leave that off the survey out of shame, not wanting to lower the average, etc. I don't think this would apply to very many people at UF. It may sound hard to believe, but 45k with room for training and growth is a really, really good outcome out of UF right now. There is a sizable chunk of people from both schools that are under-employed-- maybe working part-time nonlaw and doing some contract legal work when they get the chance, just hoping and praying for another interview.

nebula666 wrote:UF still has almost twice as many in biglaw and a few more grads in clerkships. UF is still considered by all firms to be the superior school, it has been around much longer, and the alumni network is very strong.


I think that UF has been better at larger firms and clerkships every year I have looked, so you are probably right here. People on this site used to shout out that UF was objectively better than FSU. That isn't true though. Both schools have a niche and both schools are better for FL than anything else. When douchnozzle said "FSU is the objectively better law school" and based it off a one year difference of 8% in LST's new employment score I had to say something, but lets not start the UF trolling either.

rad lulz
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby rad lulz » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:20 pm

Tampa is pretty good ol boy. Hope you're part of that. The most important factor to getting a job in Tampa large firms will be your ties and your grades. If you have interest in working in the greater South, Vanderbilt wouldn't be a terrible choice.

Srsly though don't have your parents pay for it if they're going to drain their retirement or savings.

y-u-mad-bro
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby y-u-mad-bro » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:28 pm

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cahwc12
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby cahwc12 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:51 pm

y-u-mad-bro wrote:I guess let me clarify "debt free" since apparently that is the most controversial aspect of this thread. I don't know what any of you based your assumptions on (read as BigZuck you're a clown), but my parents don't have "oodles" of money nor would I ever waste it if they did. When I was born they created an investment account solely for the sake of paying for my college education. Since UF was extremely cheap (with my merit based bright futures I only paid 2000-3000 a year in tuition), this account has built up a substantial amount of money because my parents had been planning on paying for private college tuition. Additionally, I started my own small business during high school, kept it through college, and have been investing every penny I don't need since I was 18. I've done extremely well and have ridden the post 2008 market through the roof. Now, what we have here is a nice little package perfectly prepared to pay for the vast majority of my legal education wherever I may choose to go.

Now again I propose the question, in this situation, where the price of education is one of the smallest factors, which school+path combo would best help me achieve my goals?

Thank you to all that have responded I really do appreciate it. To the "set or not on biglaw" predicament: like I said before, I am completely open to big law and the opportunities that stem from having that experience on your resume, but I am not absolutely set on making big law my life goal. If there are other routes that lead to the experience and pedigree required to land a job at a boutique firm or give me the strongest launching point to starting my own practice, I am just as willing to take this route.

Hopefully these two supplements will help clear things up.


It sounds like going to law school would be a bad decision for you. If you have enough money that law school cost is not a factor, any possible outcome would put you worse off than you currently are. And if you have, say, $250,000 in this "savings", then you'll blow most or all of it on GULC/Vandy/etc, come out with possibly no job, and be like everyone else (save that you would be debt free). You may also be three years removed (conjecture) from whatever business you run.

Like others have said, you sound like a smart guy, and either there is more information missing or you are probably going to make a poor investment with that money. With that entrepreneurial acumen, have you considered perhaps b-school instead? The GMAT is a joke, and with your experience, it seems like it might be a much better investment for you.

I know it's not what you want to hear, but there just isn't a good chance of getting the outcome you want, independent of where you go or COA. Given the information that you have provided though, I think either FSU or UF would be your best bets. It won't dry up your funds, and it will give you the greatest (re: small) chance of accomplishing what you want.

Good luck.

timbs4339
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:02 pm

What do you think a "boutique" practice is? Describe (in general terms) the kind of practice you want, areas of law, clients, etc etc. The answer is important- boutique practices generally do biglaw type litigation which requires biglaw or certain kinds of prestigious government employment, whereas anyone can just open up a small firm and try to grab a share of the PI market, dabbling in whatever else walks through the door (wills, bankruptcies, small claims, DUIs, etc).

BigZuck
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby BigZuck » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:10 pm

Brobro, what is controversial and what did I say that makes me a "clown?" Your OP made it sound like they had 200K+ to spend on your legal education. Anyone who can do that obviously has a lot of money lying around. And then your most recent post confirms what I assumed. You and your parents do have a lot of money to spend on a legal education, therefor you have a ton of money lying around. I don't get what upset you so.

Again, I vote Vandy based on what you said. Or go wherever you want, it's not going to cripple anyone financially. YOLO.

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BullShitWithBravado
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby BullShitWithBravado » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:22 pm

Georgetown or Vandy. Even if you want to work in Florida, UF probably won't be a good option because there are plenty of students attending T-20 schools who also want to work in Florida and will probably get hired over you for big law, mid law and government positions unless you're at least top 10% at UF (and even then, it's a big if).

nebula666
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby nebula666 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:32 pm

BullShitWithBravado wrote:Georgetown or Vandy. Even if you want to work in Florida, UF probably won't be a good option because there are plenty of students attending T-20 schools who also want to work in Florida and will probably get hired over you for big law, mid law and government positions unless you're at least top 10% at UF (and even then, it's a big if).


The only school I could find outside of the state of FL that places 5% or more of their grads there is Mississippi.

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052220151
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby 052220151 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:51 pm

nebula666 wrote:
BullShitWithBravado wrote:Georgetown or Vandy. Even if you want to work in Florida, UF probably won't be a good option because there are plenty of students attending T-20 schools who also want to work in Florida and will probably get hired over you for big law, mid law and government positions unless you're at least top 10% at UF (and even then, it's a big if).


The only school I could find outside of the state of FL that places 5% or more of their grads there is Mississippi.


That is a misleading stat though. Self selection distorts placement stats. I think the only valid response to OP's question is gt/vandy>>>>>>>>uf/fsu>lol.

ETA: Personally I'd take GT. DAT preftige, plus you can go for free.

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jkpolk
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby jkpolk » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:15 am

No attorney in Tampa will question your loyalty to the area because you went to Georgetown...and came immediately back looking for a job. I think that may actually play pretty well if you spin it correctly.

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scottyc66
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby scottyc66 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:03 pm

polkij333 wrote:No attorney in Tampa will question your loyalty to the area because you went to Georgetown...and came immediately back looking for a job. I think that may actually play pretty well if you spin it correctly.

I personally know someone who did this and got biglaw

y-u-mad-bro
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby y-u-mad-bro » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:32 pm

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y-u-mad-bro
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Re: Breaking into the Florida (Tampa) Market

Postby y-u-mad-bro » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:35 pm

scottyc66 wrote:
polkij333 wrote:No attorney in Tampa will question your loyalty to the area because you went to Georgetown...and came immediately back looking for a job. I think that may actually play pretty well if you spin it correctly.

I personally know someone who did this and got biglaw


I also met someone in this same position, I talked to her about this process a few months ago and she recommended that I attend Georgetown. She said it set her apart from many of the other applicants applying (UF, etc.) and that your grades would not have to be as high coming from a t-14/t-20.




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