UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

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clasico2012
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UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

Postby clasico2012 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:38 am

HI all,

I've recently received my preliminary financial aid package from UVA, and they have me taking out nearly $50,000/year in loans. I received a $20k scholarship/year.

I also received a full-tuition scholarship from W&L in Virginia.

I would like to clerk after graduation, particularly at the federal level, so I'm leaning more towards a T14. Any chance I could use my full-scholarship at W&L to negotiate higher at UVA? Michigan is also in play (they gave me $15k/year), so I'd welcome any thoughts on negotiating there, too.

I'm extremely debt-averse, so the six-figure loan amount scares me. Any advice would be extremely appreciated!

srfngdd6
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Re: UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

Postby srfngdd6 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:52 am

where do you want to work

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:53 am

It's basically impossible to use the full scholarship to negotiate with UVA because they are not peers.
Is it a named scholarship at W&L? If so, I would ask the school to give you the information and put you in touch with as many former recipients as possible. Often people with this type of scholarship have had really good job placement (even during 2008-2012), and obviously having no debt is a huge plus.

for what its worth, I had this choice against UVA/Duke/Northwestern, took the money and it couldn't be working out better so far (1L).

dixon02
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Re: UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

Postby dixon02 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:16 pm

You should not let clerking play any sort of significant role in your choice at all. It's one year of your life, and even at UVA you'd have ~10% chance. Your odds of actually having a job as a lawyer is far more important. Focus on that, not clerking. Personally, I'd take T14. $150k is a lot of debt, but it's not unmanageable.

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Law Sauce
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Re: UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

Postby Law Sauce » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:18 pm

UVA, W&L is risking your future career too much

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Law Sauce
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Re: UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

Postby Law Sauce » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:21 pm

dixon02 wrote:You should not let clerking play any sort of significant role in your choice at all. It's one year of your life, and even at UVA you'd have ~10% chance.


At least if you meant any clerkship, that is not entirely correct. Most UVA students could find some clerkship, even if it is state-level. If you really want to clerk, from UVA you probably can, you just must adjust what kind of court you look for. If clerking is really a real goal of yours, UVA has a significant advantage. It is true that it is just one year of your life however, but it still could be a real goal for people who want to litigate or make connections in a particular area.

Edit: even for federal clerkships you have greater than 10% chance. For circuit courts you have less than 10% chance since most people who have those credentials go for one, but I know a good number of people who have the credentials for a district court clerkship (at least a good shot), who are not attempting to get one. Thus, the 10% that do get one could probably be higher and if you really wanted one your chances are a little higher, but obviously still not highly likely for any given 0L.

timbs4339
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Re: UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

Postby timbs4339 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:35 pm

clasico2012 wrote:HI all,

I've recently received my preliminary financial aid package from UVA, and they have me taking out nearly $50,000/year in loans. I received a $20k scholarship/year.

I also received a full-tuition scholarship from W&L in Virginia.

I would like to clerk after graduation, particularly at the federal level, so I'm leaning more towards a T14. Any chance I could use my full-scholarship at W&L to negotiate higher at UVA? Michigan is also in play (they gave me $15k/year), so I'd welcome any thoughts on negotiating there, too.

I'm extremely debt-averse, so the six-figure loan amount scares me. Any advice would be extremely appreciated!


Clerking is a very low-percentage play from either school. What do you want to do either after the clerkship or if you don't get a clerkship?

clasico2012
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Re: UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

Postby clasico2012 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:04 pm

Wow, Thanks for all the responses and advice. To answer some of the questions: I really would like to work in Virginia (read: DC). What got me interested in law originally was reading two books for an undergraduate class: A Civil Action and The Buffalo Creek Disaster. So my interest is in environmental law, and I think as a 0L that I would like to work with a government agency such as the DOJ or EPA or DOE. I've also considered studying securities and corporate law... So in the long run I guess clerking isn't exactly necessary for my career path, but it's just something I've wanted to do (seems like an awesome experience) ever since I considered becoming an attorney.

PRgradBYU
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Re: UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

Postby PRgradBYU » Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:44 pm

clasico2012 wrote:Wow, Thanks for all the responses and advice. To answer some of the questions: I really would like to work in Virginia (read: DC). What got me interested in law originally was reading two books for an undergraduate class: A Civil Action and The Buffalo Creek Disaster. So my interest is in environmental law, and I think as a 0L that I would like to work with a government agency such as the DOJ or EPA or DOE. I've also considered studying securities and corporate law... So in the long run I guess clerking isn't exactly necessary for my career path, but it's just something I've wanted to do (seems like an awesome experience) ever since I considered becoming an attorney.


I'm somewhat interested in corporate & securities law myself. Based strictly off of the advice I've been given, your best bet is probably UVA with $.

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cahwc12
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Re: UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

Postby cahwc12 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:46 pm

clasico2012 wrote:Wow, Thanks for all the responses and advice. To answer some of the questions: I really would like to work in Virginia (read: DC). What got me interested in law originally was reading two books for an undergraduate class: A Civil Action and The Buffalo Creek Disaster. So my interest is in environmental law, and I think as a 0L that I would like to work with a government agency such as the DOJ or EPA or DOE. I've also considered studying securities and corporate law... So in the long run I guess clerking isn't exactly necessary for my career path, but it's just something I've wanted to do (seems like an awesome experience) ever since I considered becoming an attorney.


This post raises some red flags and you should think long and hard before taking out $250,000 in loans to go to law school.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:27 pm

cahwc12 wrote:
clasico2012 wrote:Wow, Thanks for all the responses and advice. To answer some of the questions: I really would like to work in Virginia (read: DC). What got me interested in law originally was reading two books for an undergraduate class: A Civil Action and The Buffalo Creek Disaster. So my interest is in environmental law, and I think as a 0L that I would like to work with a government agency such as the DOJ or EPA or DOE. I've also considered studying securities and corporate law... So in the long run I guess clerking isn't exactly necessary for my career path, but it's just something I've wanted to do (seems like an awesome experience) ever since I considered becoming an attorney.


This post raises some red flags and you should think long and hard before taking out $250,000 in loans to go to law school.


I have to agree. I read this and it doesn't really sound like you understand what you are getting into. Practicing law is nothing like either of these books for almost anyone. It would be much more relevant if you said I like sitting in front of a computer screen and methodically reviewing documents for 10-12 hours a day every day.

I would strongly recommend the W&L route which is so much less downside. If after 9 months in law school you hate the work, you have bad grades, you realize your passion for another field, or any other reason, you can walk away with very little problem.

On the other side, recognize that half of your class at UVA will have median or below grades, and a substantial portion of your classmates will realize that they don't like the law. Walking away with all of that debt would be much harder. Many people want to and feel trapped, and don't. Then a lot of those people end up jobless or with a really shitty job at graduation.

The prestige factor can be difficult to shake. There is no doubt that when you tell friends, family, or strangers that you are attending UVA law they will react very differently to telling them W&L. But at the end of the day that is really irrelevant. What matters is debt at graduation and job placement. The people at W&L who get a full scholarship will have better job placement than the school's overall rate. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the job outcomes for full scholarship students at W&L are equivalent to the job outcomes for a median student at UVA.

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Law Sauce
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Re: UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

Postby Law Sauce » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:41 pm

cahwc12 wrote:
clasico2012 wrote:Wow, Thanks for all the responses and advice. To answer some of the questions: I really would like to work in Virginia (read: DC). What got me interested in law originally was reading two books for an undergraduate class: A Civil Action and The Buffalo Creek Disaster. So my interest is in environmental law, and I think as a 0L that I would like to work with a government agency such as the DOJ or EPA or DOE. I've also considered studying securities and corporate law... So in the long run I guess clerking isn't exactly necessary for my career path, but it's just something I've wanted to do (seems like an awesome experience) ever since I considered becoming an attorney.


This post raises some red flags and you should think long and hard before taking out $250,000 in loans to go to law school.


This is silly. No one really knows what they are going to do as a 0L, as long as this person is flexible and understands that he or she is going to have to work hard, I see no reason to mock why they are interested in law. I'm sure this person has done a lot more thinking about this that simply that post implies (he or she says that the book are what originally got he or she interested). Also coincidentally, the career services director at UVA has mentioned that a civil action is the most like his practice of any popular movie he's seen.

Finally, I think that UVA people at median still have better options (as far as market flexibility) that the average W&L kid with a full scholarship. UVa certainly has more upside but also has more downside (debt). Depends on your own risk preferences I guess. I would be nervous risking my career by not giving myself that best chance to succeed as I could.
Last edited by Law Sauce on Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

clasico2012
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Re: UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

Postby clasico2012 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:07 pm

Thanks for the advice/opinions. I've taken some time off from undergrad and have given a lot of thought about the actual practice of law and what I'd like in a job. I've worked in two different industries throughout the past two years and can say that my experiences have also helped me to figure out what I would and wouldn't like in a job.

I understand that the actual work of lawyers is not similar to what is portrayed in movies or books, but I do think it is a little unfair to expect a 0L like me to have an unshakeable plan for the rest of my career. I was hoping that taking a few introductory classes to more specific areas of law would help me to narrow done what fields I like. I truly appreciate everyone's concern, and I have done the research, spent the time interning, and compared law school with my other options (which, because of my major, included medical/dental/grad school).

I'm still not closer to a decision haha, but again, thanks for taking the time to share your opinions and making me do some more thinking about my career options.

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cahwc12
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Re: UVA ($) vs. W&L ($$$)

Postby cahwc12 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:06 pm

clasico2012 wrote:Thanks for the advice/opinions. I've taken some time off from undergrad and have given a lot of thought about the actual practice of law and what I'd like in a job. I've worked in two different industries throughout the past two years and can say that my experiences have also helped me to figure out what I would and wouldn't like in a job.

I understand that the actual work of lawyers is not similar to what is portrayed in movies or books, but I do think it is a little unfair to expect a 0L like me to have an unshakeable plan for the rest of my career. I was hoping that taking a few introductory classes to more specific areas of law would help me to narrow done what fields I like. I truly appreciate everyone's concern, and I have done the research, spent the time interning, and compared law school with my other options (which, because of my major, included medical/dental/grad school).

I'm still not closer to a decision haha, but again, thanks for taking the time to share your opinions and making me do some more thinking about my career options.


Given your stated options, it's very surprising that you are choosing to go to law school. Most people in your situation end up taking the best of bad deals because they don't have any other viable options (aside from grad school), and for you, being able to go to med or dental school is interesting because both are very low risk options, whereas law school is a very large risk. All three will leave you saddled with debt, but the unemployment rates for MD, MDS/dent are close to 0%, whereas the unemployment rates for JD holders are around 50%.

I understand having a passion for the law and all that (preaching to the choir here), but you should really think long and hard about snubbing med/dental school for a JD.


All that said, you could do much worse than a full ride at W&L. And given how they are handing out full rides like candy, it makes me almost regret sitting out this cycle...




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