Help me narrow options... there's a lot

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

If you were me (COA)...?

Emory - 166k
2
4%
W&L - 119k
0
No votes
UNC - 110k
6
11%
SMU - 100k
7
12%
Illinois - 95k
2
4%
W&M - 82k
6
11%
UGA - 67k
3
5%
Wake - 45k
31
54%
 
Total votes: 57

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sdmelzer
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Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby sdmelzer » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:49 pm

A bit about me first - I want the best shot at biglaw and will follow the statistics to do so. Yes, I realize none of these schools provide a fantastic outlook for my goal, but this is what I have to work with. I am, unfortunately, quite the abysmal standardized test taker. I have already tried 3 times. All costs are total COA. I am from North Carolina, but have no regional preference whatsoever. I like warm places, but would go to the arctic circle for biglaw. Some of the schools I have already pretty much decided against, but included them in case additional reasoning I didn't think of comes up. Any other questions, ask away.

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txdude45
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby txdude45 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:58 pm

I voted for SMU. Yeah, there's some bias in that vote, but Dallas BigLaw looks to SMU first for applicants. My sister graduated from there in 2011 and the SMU network is crazy good in Dallas. Do well there and you'll get the job.

Plus: same salary as other BigLaw cities with no state income tax=profit.

rad lulz
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby rad lulz » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:05 pm

Wake is the only one that really makes sense considering you're from NC and the cost.

nebula666
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby nebula666 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:33 pm

txdude45 wrote:I voted for SMU. Yeah, there's some bias in that vote, but Dallas BigLaw looks to SMU first for applicants. My sister graduated from there in 2011 and the SMU network is crazy good in Dallas. Do well there and you'll get the job.

Plus: same salary as other BigLaw cities with no state income tax=profit.


SMU with no ties to Texas is not a good idea.

Go to Wake or retake.

fountino
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby fountino » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:16 pm

I was in a similar position last year and chose SMU. I haven't regretted it.

If biglaw is your goal, Dallas provides a natural market for SMU students--it's the only law school in the city. Obviously Wake doesn't have that luxury, so their grads have to try to compete in more saturated markets (DC, NY, Atlanta, etc.). In terms of NLJ placement SMU placed 44 (~16%) Wake placed 9 (9-10%). I wouldn't call those numbers good, but you can interpret them how you'd like.

Also, although the "big law or your screwed" mentality is well founded, I feel like it's less true in Texas. Even less so if you are on a decent scholarship. There actually are a fair amount of mid size firms that hire SMU grads. This creates positive employment outcomes outside of biglaw. My point is you don't have to make 160k a year to service your loans and keep the hot water running in a 1 bedroom apartment like you do in some markets.

Feel free to PM me.

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sublime
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby sublime » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:17 pm

..

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sdmelzer
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby sdmelzer » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:36 pm

The Wake money is very hard to pass up. I only worry that Wake's placement is sketchier than, say, SMU. I will obviously try to negotiate more money elsewhere to see if I can get closer to Wake's amount. I'm surprised that no one has voted fr UGA actually.

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patrickd139
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby patrickd139 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:44 pm

Not qualified to give an opinion on the rest of your choices, but SMU with $100k in debt and no ties to Dallas is objectively a piss-poor idea. Those who tell you otherwise are passing on anecdotes which defy the statistics.

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sdmelzer
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby sdmelzer » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:59 pm

Is Dallas really that insular? Or is it more along the lines of "if you miss biglaw, you are in trouble?"

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patrickd139
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby patrickd139 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:25 pm

sdmelzer wrote:Is Dallas really that insular? Or is it more along the lines of "if you miss biglaw, you are in trouble?"

It's both.

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txdude45
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby txdude45 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:34 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
sdmelzer wrote:Is Dallas really that insular? Or is it more along the lines of "if you miss biglaw, you are in trouble?"

It's both.


I definitely left out the necessary context that nearly everyone at SMU seemed to be from Dallas, which probably helped their chances.

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patrickd139
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby patrickd139 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:41 pm

txdude45 wrote:I voted for SMU. Yeah, there's some bias in that vote, but Dallas BigLaw looks to SMU first for applicants. My sister graduated from there in 2011 and the SMU network is crazy good in Dallas. Do well there and you'll get the job.

Plus: same salary as other BigLaw cities with no state income tax=profit.

The bolded is the main problem with this post. No way you can predict that, and the risks of getting it wrong could be pretty catastrophic.

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romothesavior
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby romothesavior » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:39 pm

rad lulz wrote:Wake is the only one that really makes sense considering you're from NC and the cost.

TCR

None of these are good for biglaw, so you might as well pick the one with the lowest cost in the place where your ties are strongest in order to mitigate your downside. 45k for Wake is pretty reasonable for someone from NC, though 45k is probably a low estimate for what you'll end up with in debt.

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sinfiery
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby sinfiery » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:46 pm

If biglaw or dropout, SMU....my dad thought they were on par with HYS...dat lat prestige in DFW.
But its risky and a 15% chance at biglaw isn't worth 100k and 3 years plus no ties to Texas

But yeah, minimize costs and attend wake if you have to go.

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OutCold
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby OutCold » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:20 pm

Just parroting what everyone else has said. All have a low shot at big law, so minimize your debt to something manageable.

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hephaestus
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Re: Help me narrow options... there's a lot

Postby hephaestus » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:23 pm

rad lulz wrote:Wake is the only one that really makes sense considering you're from NC and the cost.

If OP won't retake, this is the answer.




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