Help me weigh these options...again

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Best bet given my circumstances (parenthetical values are student loan balance at repaymet):

Columbia ($242,469)
1
1%
Chicago ($80,256)
35
47%
NYU ($128,033)
4
5%
UVA ($20,870)
29
39%
Michigan ($14,850)
5
7%
 
Total votes: 74

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elterrible78
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Help me weigh these options...again

Postby elterrible78 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:13 am

TL;DR: I'm a non-traditional student interested in clerking and biglaw in Miami.

Hey everyone. I did a thread like this when I just had offers from UVA and Michigan, but things have gotten a little more complicated by then. I could have waited until I had all my decisions in to start a new thread, but since some schools are moving at a sub-glacial pace (under review at Penn since 11-20, e.g.), I thought it wouldn't be a bad time to get opinions now. I really want to be able to make a decision and know what is going on with my life.

Things to consider: I'm 34 years old and married. I grew up in northeast, went to grad school in the southwest, and currently live in the DC area (have been here only about six months though, and will be moving to Miami for the summer). Aside from DC, none of the places I have "ties" to have legal markets to speak of. My wife is Brazilian, and her entire family is going to be moving to Miami in the next year, so we really want to end up there as well. She herself is going to live in Miami while I am in school. I plan on doing whatever I can 1L year to work in Miami, even if it means taking an unpaid position somewhere, just to further establish ties to that market. I am hoping those things will be enough to establish the fact that I certainly DO want to be in Miami, but I'd definitely appreciate input on this. I realize the Miami market is a tough nut to crack, but I'm hoping my MA in Latin American Studies and fluency in Spanish (and "rising" fluency in Portuguese) will help.

In my ideal scenario (which is a massive reach, I know...no need to tell me), I would like to come out of school, do a federal clerkship, and then go into biglaw. I am especially interested in commercial or tax law with an international flavor (I'm not talking "international law" in the sense of working at the UN or the ICJ or anything). Think White & Case, or something along those lines.

Okay, that's about it, I think. Again, I could have waited until I have final decisions from Harvard, Stanford, and Penn, and aid packages from those schools and Columbia, but I'm antsy. I'm also pretty debt averse, if that helps.

EDIT: I changed scholarship amounts to total debt at repayment. Because of the wide disparity in aid available to me, I didn't want to do the "cost on the 10-year repayment plan" because if I get out of school with $30k in debt, I'm NOT going to take 10 years to pay it back, so why factor in all that interest? It is something to keep in mind, though...if I go to Columbia at sticker, it's a whole lot more likely that I'll end up paying massive interest on those loans, for example. I've calculated the whole thing based on 2012-13 COA published by schools (which I know isn't for this coming year, but gives a basis for comparison) with a yearly 3.5% increase, and taking into account contributions on my end. The NYU calculation is with $17,500 scholarship in the 3rd year.
Last edited by elterrible78 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

florida1949
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby florida1949 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:18 pm

hmm, seems like UVA to me. What are your reservations, if you have any, about attending there?

COL is cheap, places well in the South, etc.

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elterrible78
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby elterrible78 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:18 pm

florida1949 wrote:hmm, seems like UVA to me. What are your reservations, if you have any, about attending there?

COL is cheap, places well in the South, etc.


I really didn't have any reservations at all, and I guess I still don't. In fact, I was pretty set on going up until I got the Chicago offer. More than anything, it seems (very) roughly analogous to the "Why not just go to Miami if you want Miami?" question. Obviously it's not the same thing, but I see other opportunities being more than marginally better coming out of Chicago as compared to UVA, if I were to strike out in Miami at both...you see what I mean? And to me, those "other" opportunities might be worth the extra $30k, since COL seems generally equivalent at the two schools.

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WokeUpInACar
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby WokeUpInACar » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:19 pm

I think Chicago is worth $30k more than UVA tbh.

cinnamonchurros
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby cinnamonchurros » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:21 pm

I voted UVA because it's free and can hopefully get you back to Miami. I'm not sure how Chicago places in that area.

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elterrible78
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby elterrible78 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:26 pm

WokeUpInACar wrote:I think Chicago is worth $30k more than UVA tbh.


Me, too, everything else equal. The only reason I'm struggling with the decision at all is the placement in Miami thing. If I were SURE UVA would land me a job in Miami, it would be a no-brainer. Since COL is about the same in both, it's more of a question about whether or not the potential better shot at Miami out of UVA even exists, and if it does, does that consideration outweigh the better shot at just about everything else that Chicago offers?

There are worse problems to have, to be sure, but this is literally keeping me up later than it should.

I'd be interested to see what the two people who voted Michigan had on their minds.

09042014
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby 09042014 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:27 pm

I don't think there is a clear winner between Chicago/UVA/Michigan. None of them are particularly good in Miami (no school is, Florida biglaw is really small).

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fruitoftheloom
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby fruitoftheloom » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:42 pm

Contact UVA and Chicago and ask them to put you in contact with an alumni who works in Miami. That person would probably be much more helpful than we are, and you'll have a head start on networking with people who can get you jobs or connection to jobs.

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elterrible78
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby elterrible78 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:57 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:Contact UVA and Chicago and ask them to put you in contact with an alumni who works in Miami. That person would probably be much more helpful than we are, and you'll have a head start on networking with people who can get you jobs or connection to jobs.


This is a great idea, and something I'd already done with UVA. The associate I spoke with from Miami was super friendly and helpful with lots of stuff. I just sent an e-mail to a Chicago alum working in Miami...we'll see if I have similar results this time around. Thanks for the idea!

marcfj
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby marcfj » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:02 pm

While its only one firm (still a good example), Holland & Knight interviews at UVA and Chicago but not Michigan
HK has 6 Florida partners and 22 lawyers from UVA. They have 1 partner and 9 lawyers from UC.
Rankings aside, if Miami is your goal, UVA is a better decision

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elterrible78
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby elterrible78 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:04 pm

marcfj wrote:While its only one firm (still a good example), Holland & Knight interviews at UVA and Chicago but not Michigan
HK has 6 Florida partners and 22 lawyers from UVA. They have 1 partner and 9 lawyers from UC.
Rankings aside, if Miami is your goal, UVA is a better decision


Where did you get this information? When I searched Holland and Knight's website, this was not what I came up with.

rad lulz
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby rad lulz » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:08 pm

marcfj wrote:While its only one firm (still a good example), Holland & Knight interviews at UVA and Chicago but not Michigan
HK has 6 Florida partners and 22 lawyers from UVA. They have 1 partner and 9 lawyers from UC.
Rankings aside, if Miami is your goal, UVA is a better decision

Now account for the number of grads from those schools over the same time braj

marcfj
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby marcfj » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:12 pm

elterrible78 wrote:
marcfj wrote:While its only one firm (still a good example), Holland & Knight interviews at UVA and Chicago but not Michigan
HK has 6 Florida partners and 22 lawyers from UVA. They have 1 partner and 9 lawyers from UC.
Rankings aside, if Miami is your goal, UVA is a better decision


Where did you get this information? When I searched Holland and Knight's website, this was not what I came up with.



just randomly searched the "Find a professional" section of the HK site screening by law school
the interview info came from their summer associate page

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Emma.
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby Emma. » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:29 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:Contact UVA and Chicago and ask them to put you in contact with an alumni who works in Miami. That person would probably be much more helpful than we are, and you'll have a head start on networking with people who can get you jobs or connection to jobs.


There's an oddly strong Miami contingent among the 2Ls and 3Ls at UChi right now. I'm sure the admissions dept wouldn't have any problem putting you in touch with current students who'll be heading to Miami after graduation.

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elterrible78
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby elterrible78 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:31 pm

marcfj wrote:
elterrible78 wrote:
marcfj wrote:While its only one firm (still a good example), Holland & Knight interviews at UVA and Chicago but not Michigan
HK has 6 Florida partners and 22 lawyers from UVA. They have 1 partner and 9 lawyers from UC.
Rankings aside, if Miami is your goal, UVA is a better decision


Where did you get this information? When I searched Holland and Knight's website, this was not what I came up with.



just randomly searched the "Find a professional" section of the HK site screening by law school
the interview info came from their summer associate page


Then it's a partner and 0 associates from UVA in Miami, and 4 partners and 1 associate from Chicago in Miami. I'm not particularly interested in the rest of Florida.

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elterrible78
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby elterrible78 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:31 pm

Emma. wrote:
fruitoftheloom wrote:Contact UVA and Chicago and ask them to put you in contact with an alumni who works in Miami. That person would probably be much more helpful than we are, and you'll have a head start on networking with people who can get you jobs or connection to jobs.


There's an oddly strong Miami contingent among the 2Ls and 3Ls at UChi right now. I'm sure the admissions dept wouldn't have any problem putting you in touch with current students who'll be heading to Miami after graduation.


No kidding? I'll definitely ask about that then, thanks!

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:51 pm

I'll wait for your 3rd post on this subject when you've gotten into Harvard and negotiated scholarship info with Columbia.

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elterrible78
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby elterrible78 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:30 pm

CyanIdes Of March wrote:I'll wait for your 3rd post on this subject when you've gotten into Harvard and negotiated scholarship info with Columbia.


Ha! Getting into Harvard is far from a foregone conclusion, although I do appreciate the vote of confidence. To be honest, I would almost certainly take the $120k at Chicago over Columbia with a full ride, and I wouldn't pay a significant amount more for Harvard, I don't think, even if I did get in.

NYstate
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby NYstate » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:44 pm

Can you please post the three year COA for each school? Include the interest that will be accruing too. Georgetown has a calculator online that can help wit these calculations.
It helps to know how much each school will actually cost.


Edit: why the extra stress of being apart from your wife during school?

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elterrible78
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby elterrible78 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:04 pm

NYstate wrote:Can you please post the three year COA for each school? Include the interest that will be accruing too. Georgetown has a calculator online that can help wit these calculations.
It helps to know how much each school will actually cost.


Edit: why the extra stress of being apart from your wife during school?


Done!

I am used to long distance relationships, and I think it would be actually more stressful to have my wife there with me for 1L year, and she agrees (she's an attorney, so has some idea). We've lived apart before and made it work, so I'm hoping we'll be able to do it again.

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patrickd139
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby patrickd139 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:24 pm

Voted UVa for cheaper cost of living, higher scholarship, fantastic legal community reputation and close proximity to your target market.

When you get into HLS (which I'm confident you will, after glancing over your LSN profile), you should change your mind from UVa and go there.

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fruitoftheloom
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby fruitoftheloom » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:33 pm

I voted UVA after you updated to the 3 year total cost of attendance. Here's my thinking:

If Miami Biglaw > Miami Law Job >>>>>>> Biglaw anywhere else, being 30k in debt from UVA will give you the flexibility to take a position that's less attractive because it's in the market you want to be in.

If, on the other hand, Miami Biglaw >> Biglaw somewhere else >>>>>> Miami Law Job, I would go to U Chicago and take on the extra debt.

I would definitely start reaching out to the career services office and getting in touch with every grad, whatever, they can put you in touch with in Miami so that you can start networking. When you go there for the summer, go out to lunch with those people, ask for introductions, do whatever you have to so that hopefully when you're going to interview you have someone to vouch for your serious interest in living in the area.

I don't know if this helps. I do think that if, somehow, you reach out to Chicago and they're like "oh yeah, we have a really great, big network in Miami and if you want to go there we can do that for you" and then if the alums / students confirm that, it may change the calculus.

Good luck!

20141023
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby 20141023 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:19 am

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rad lulz
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby rad lulz » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:25 am

fruitoftheloom wrote:I voted UVA after you updated to the 3 year total cost of attendance. Here's my thinking:

If Miami Biglaw > Miami Law Job >>>>>>> Biglaw anywhere else, being 30k in debt from UVA will give you the flexibility to take a position that's less attractive because it's in the market you want to be in.

If, on the other hand, Miami Biglaw >> Biglaw somewhere else >>>>>> Miami Law Job, I would go to U Chicago and take on the extra debt.

I would definitely start reaching out to the career services office and getting in touch with every grad, whatever, they can put you in touch with in Miami so that you can start networking. When you go there for the summer, go out to lunch with those people, ask for introductions, do whatever you have to so that hopefully when you're going to interview you have someone to vouch for your serious interest in living in the area.

I don't know if this helps. I do think that if, somehow, you reach out to Chicago and they're like "oh yeah, we have a really great, big network in Miami and if you want to go there we can do that for you" and then if the alums / students confirm that, it may change the calculus.

Good luck!

Just so we are clear, you strike out at OCI or get no-offered, the value of your brand name T14 education rapidly diminishes.

09042014
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Re: Help me weigh these options...again

Postby 09042014 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:46 am

Why is everyone pretending that UVA is some MIAMI POWERHOUSE




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