Please offer some advice?

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

Schools:

Florida International
18
45%
Saint Louis
5
13%
Cincinnati
2
5%
Cardozo
1
3%
GW
4
10%
WUSTL
10
25%
 
Total votes: 40

Username123
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Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:31 pm

I’ll start off with thanking you all for taking the time out of your day to help me with this choice. I know a lot of posters forget or simply disregard some of the information required/asked for in order to make an informed attempt at offering advice, so I will try to not be one of ‘those guys’

I grew up and went to high school in South Florida. I have very strong ties to not only the region, but also the legal community. My mom was a paralegal for mid-sized firms over 17 years. One of the attorneys she was a paralegal for is now a circuit court judge in the criminal division of Broward County. They remain close friends. In addition to that, I have interned/worked at a pretty good law firm right next to the Broward County Courthouse. The attorney I worked for is very respected in the legal community down in South Florida. He is a close friend of the family and sees me as another child of his.

I wouldn’t mind practicing in South Florida, although NYC and DC have been the ideal places for me in my dreams – I know how unrealistic of a longshot that is though. Any region or city is perfectly fine for me, but the only cities/regions I have ties in are Cleveland and South Florida. Everywhere else, I would basically have to hustle my way into a career.
Here are the schools I am looking at. I have the total cost of attendance listed next to the school and a brief explanation of why I am interested and an explanation of what the costs would entail:

Florida International - $10,000 ; no COL, I would get to live right near my family (my grandfather is letting me live in one of his apartments on the beach if I go to FIU, cost free), the $10,000 is just miscellaneous costs over 3 years.

Saint Louis University - $60,000 ; no COL for the first two years, as I would live with my girlfriend of over 3 years. I have no ties to the region, but I would be fine living here in STL. The gf goes to WUSTL for grad school. She gets paid like $30,000 a year to get an education. I am in the wrong field, evidently.

University of Cincinnati - $85,000 ; including COL. I have ties to Northeast Ohio, having gone to undergrad near Cleveland, but not necessarily Cincinnati. This projected cost of attendance includes the GMR tuition rate that UC offers.

Cardozo - $130,000 ; including COL. Again, I have no ties to the region, but this is my best bet to getting into the NYC market. I know its unrealistic and scares the shit out of me when considering that amount of debt, but it’s my lone NYC school.

GW – sticker

WUSTL – sticker with no COL

I am still waiting to hear back negotiations from SLU and UC. I am confident that UC will up its offer by about 5K per year. I am not certain that SLU will up its offer at all.

GW and WUSTL – I am on the waitlist, so I imagine paying sticker if admitted sometime during the summer. Although, I would be getting the maximum amount of need-based aid. Thought I would mention that.

So yeah, these are my options. I know the most reasonable option seems to retake, but I have taken the LSAT twice and scored the same 156 on both attempts. I studied my ass off both times and just seemed to peak at that score, unfortunately. My GPA is a 3.1.

If I forgot to mention anything, I am sorry. Please ask and I will include it ASAP. I thank you all for helping me in this process. You all have been a fun experience over the past year or so, and have at the same time been very informative. I look forward to your responses.

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Presidentjlh
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Presidentjlh » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:40 pm

You've got great connections in S. Florida, and very low costs.

Go to FIU.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:55 pm

I don't know anything about FIU so I won't comment on whether or not you should go there. I will say, though, that you should NOT go to any of the other schools.

20141023
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby 20141023 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:05 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Presidentjlh
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Presidentjlh » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:10 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:I am not sure if FIU is worth going to even if for free. Check this out:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=204134

You have to factor in connections. He's got some decent ones.

Personally, I'd still take the LSAT one more time, OP.

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:18 pm

How about retaking in June to see if I can increase that 156 at all? And if that is a legitimate option, what kind of increase would it take for me to justify sitting out this cycle to reapply next cycle?

PRgradBYU
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby PRgradBYU » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:29 pm

Uschoolqb10 wrote:How about retaking in June to see if I can increase that 156 at all? And if that is a legitimate option, what kind of increase would it take for me to justify sitting out this cycle to reapply next cycle?



Excellent idea. I'd say it's worth sitting out this cycle and reapplying next cycle if you break the 160s (although you should be aiming for a lot higher than that). Good luck!

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:59 pm

Thanks for the help everyone. I see WUSTL received the most votes on the poll, but no one commented as to why...?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:53 pm

Uschoolqb10 wrote:Thanks for the help everyone. I see WUSTL received the most votes on the poll, but no one commented as to why...?

It's the highest ranked and lots of people will mindlessly click on it.

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:07 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Uschoolqb10 wrote:Thanks for the help everyone. I see WUSTL received the most votes on the poll, but no one commented as to why...?

It's the highest ranked and lots of people will mindlessly click on it.


That's what I was thinking also. 200K in debt is terrifying to me. Unless WUSTL gives me a large amount in need-based grants, I won't be going there if accepted off the Waitlist.

thethe
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby thethe » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:27 pm

These options are all bad. I'd probably take WUSTL/GW at sticker bec. once you're paying 85k for Cincy you may as well pay the extra 85k for these 2 as they'd be better for 85k than Cincy for free.

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:45 pm

thethe wrote:These options are all bad. I'd probably take WUSTL/GW at sticker bec. once you're paying 85k for Cincy you may as well pay the extra 85k for these 2 as they'd be better for 85k than Cincy for free.


That made absolutely no sense to me. I'm sorry. Can you rephrase that? Doesn't seem like you actually read my circumstances and situation.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Scotusnerd » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:56 pm

PRgradBYU wrote:
Uschoolqb10 wrote:How about retaking in June to see if I can increase that 156 at all? And if that is a legitimate option, what kind of increase would it take for me to justify sitting out this cycle to reapply next cycle?



Excellent idea. I'd say it's worth sitting out this cycle and reapplying next cycle if you break the 160s (although you should be aiming for a lot higher than that). Good luck!



Absolutely, 100% seconded. Do not go to law school on less than a 160. I got similar numbers to you at first, but I sucked it up, hunkered down and got the score I needed to get into a good school.

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ArchieHicox
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby ArchieHicox » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:07 pm

You seem kind of confident of getting off the waitlist. Not trying to be negative, but is there any reason for the confidence? I would think a school like Wash U has a number of applicants with your GPA and higher LSATs on their wait-list.

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:13 pm

ha-ri wrote:You seem kind of confident of getting off the waitlist. Not trying to be negative, but is there any reason for the confidence? I would think a school like Wash U has a number of applicants with your GPA and higher LSATs on their wait-list.


I am living with my girlfriend a block from WUSTL. I am going to take a tour and hopefully meet with an admissions representative to go along with the LOCI I sent in.

I'd rather be optimistic then pessimistic. Why would they have waitlisted me in the first place with my numbers? Not to sound cocky, but they must have waitlisted me because they liked me, not because of my 156/3.1.

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:15 pm

Scotusnerd wrote:
PRgradBYU wrote:
Uschoolqb10 wrote:How about retaking in June to see if I can increase that 156 at all? And if that is a legitimate option, what kind of increase would it take for me to justify sitting out this cycle to reapply next cycle?



Excellent idea. I'd say it's worth sitting out this cycle and reapplying next cycle if you break the 160s (although you should be aiming for a lot higher than that). Good luck!



Absolutely, 100% seconded. Do not go to law school on less than a 160. I got similar numbers to you at first, but I sucked it up, hunkered down and got the score I needed to get into a good school.


I completely understand. I have a similar view so I think I'm going to retake in June. I'm just nervous that I won't increase my score at all.

Danteshek
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Danteshek » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:30 pm

In general, I think the lowest of the low schools should be avoided. This goes for places like Cooley, FIU, and Thomas Jefferson et. all

On that basis I think you should eliminate FIU and St. Louis University

Do not put too much weight on your connections to South Florida. You have some but they might not really have the clout to help you, especially if you graduated with a fourth tier law degree

I would also eliminate GW at full boat. It is one of the worst trap schools. I would eliminate Cardozo for similar reasons. You won't be able to compete in those markets coming from those schools.

That leaves WUSTL and Cincinnati

I eliminate WUSTL because it is full boat and you know no one in St. Louis.
Also note that your girlfriend is a girlfriend, not a fiancee or a wife...
If you proposed, while truly understanding your chosen path of career uncertainty, WUSTL might remain in the mix

If I were you I would pick Cincinnati. Since you are laid down roots there in Undergrad, if you go to law school there you can really make a run at a legal career in a relatively ignored market. At 80k in loans is not bad at all.

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:47 pm

Danteshek wrote:In general, I think the lowest of the low schools should be avoided. This goes for places like Cooley, FIU, and Thomas Jefferson et. all

On that basis I think you should eliminate FIU and St. Louis University

Do not put too much weight on your connections to South Florida. You have some but they might not really have the clout to help you, especially if you graduated with a fourth tier law degree

I would also eliminate GW at full boat. It is one of the worst trap schools. I would eliminate Cardozo for similar reasons. You won't be able to compete in those markets coming from those schools.

That leaves WUSTL and Cincinnati

I eliminate WUSTL because it is full boat and you know no one in St. Louis.
Also note that your girlfriend is a girlfriend, not a fiancee or a wife...
If you proposed, while truly understanding your chosen path of career uncertainty, WUSTL might remain in the mix

If I were you I would pick Cincinnati. Since you are laid down roots there in Undergrad, if you go to law school there you can really make a run at a legal career in a relatively ignored market. At 80k in loans is not bad at all.


Do you really think FIU is that bad? You've compared it to Cooley and Thomas Jefferson. It's somewhat similarly ranked to Cincinnati (20 spots in the USNWR, which I don't think make a difference unless you attend a T20 school). FIU also has better employment rankings than Cincinnati. I just don't understand your reasoning for choosing UC over FIU based on rankings and ties. My ties are stronger in south Florida. FIU has better employment prospects than UC. And it's way way cheaper than any other school.

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ArchieHicox
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby ArchieHicox » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:41 pm

http://www.mylsn.info/ntm7ap

Paramters were 154-158 LSATs and UGPA of 3.0 - 3.20

According to LSN, there were 5 applicants in your range who applied to Wash U..... None were accepted.

At George Washington.... 12 applicants with 1 exception.

I couldn't find a single applicant (URM excluded) on LSN with a score of under 162 that was accepted to Wash U this year. Not saying its going to happen, but I think your projections are optimistic bordering on delusional. With a UGPA below the 25% AND an LSAT below the 25% marker and not being an URM... what reason would Wash U have to take you over an applicant with a sky high UGPA? Not saying it won't happen, but there isn't really much reason to think it will.

Also SLU Law is infinitely more respected that Cooley or Thomas Jefferson. I don't know anything about FIU, but SLU Law does well in St. Louis and SLU is a very respectable school. I would check out some of the St. Louis related threads here (there is one called like Ask a ST. Louis Big Law Partner or something). According to that thread, SLU places competitively in STL big law. I know a few attorneys in STL who attended SLU and are doing well, but that is anecdotal.

SLU at 60k is way better than Cincinnati at 85k. Cincinnati has Ohio State grads to compete with, and Ohio State owns Ohio. At SLU, you would pay less money and be closer to your SO. That is the better bet imho.

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:52 pm

ha-ri wrote:http://www.mylsn.info/ntm7ap

Paramters were 154-158 LSATs and UGPA of 3.0 - 3.20

According to LSN, there were 5 applicants in your range who applied to Wash U..... None were accepted.

At George Washington.... 12 applicants with 1 exception.

I couldn't find a single applicant (URM excluded) on LSN with a score of under 162 that was accepted to Wash U this year. Not saying its going to happen, but I think your projections are optimistic bordering on delusional. With a UGPA below the 25% AND an LSAT below the 25% marker and not being an URM... what reason would Wash U have to take you over an applicant with a sky high UGPA? Not saying it won't happen, but there isn't really much reason to think it will.

Also SLU Law is infinitely more respected that Cooley or Thomas Jefferson. I don't know anything about FIU, but SLU Law does well in St. Louis and SLU is a very respectable school. I would check out some of the St. Louis related threads here (there is one called like Ask a ST. Louis Big Law Partner or something). According to that thread, SLU places competitively in STL big law. I know a few attorneys in STL who attended SLU and are doing well, but that is anecdotal.

SLU at 60k is way better than Cincinnati at 85k. Cincinnati has Ohio State grads to compete with, and Ohio State owns Ohio. At SLU, you would pay less money and be closer to your SO. That is the better bet imho.


Yeah I agree with you. I don't know why I would've been placed on the Waitlist at GW or WUSTL, but evidently there's an opportunity. So why not try and be positive about it? I'm going to try and look at it as if I were getting off the Waitlist in the near future.

As for SLU vs UC vs FIU; I would rank my options out of the three FIU&SLU > Cincinnati. If Cincinnati increases it's offer by about 15K, I would be much happier. It's just a hard choice between FIU and SLU right now. I don't necessarily want or need biglaw, but I'm also not opposed to the idea if the opportunity arises.

FIU seems to be doing well in terms of employment statistics. It's essentially free for me to go.

SLU does VERY well in St. Louis, but I have no ties here. I feel like that would hurt me a little.

Cincinnati has been having trouble from what I hear in terms of employment stats, but I do have minimal ties to NE Ohio, although idk if that matters when talking about Cincy.

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ArchieHicox
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby ArchieHicox » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:43 am

I think it probably comes down to soft factors then for you. How important is the relationship? Where do you want to live, have a family, etc. Because choosing FIU or SLU, more or less locks you into that area.

St. Louis is famously insular.... its like, "Where did you go to High School?" as the first question people ask. I went to SLU for undergrad and it was all SLUH, De Smet, Christian Brothers, etc. guys and there was sort of a community around that. And then the outer cities too. I don't know enough about the market to say if you can or cannot get a job without ties, but it certainly won't help being from Florida for sure.

thethe
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby thethe » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:07 am

Sorry didn't read before. Right now, I'd pick Gonzaga but retake in June and postpone as long as possible. Ties and almost free is good plus I heard Spokane rocks.

If it's not a top 14, free is the way to go. I'm top 10 at sticker, have high grades and I still wonder if I made a mistake passing on free at TT's. Even if I get big law, I'll still wonder every month when I'm writing those checks.

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:12 am

thethe wrote:Sorry didn't read before. Right now, I'd pick Gonzaga but retake in June and postpone as long as possible. Ties and almost free is good plus I heard Spokane rocks.

If it's not a top 14, free is the way to go. I'm top 10 at sticker, have high grades and I still wonder if I made a mistake passing on free at TT's. Even if I get big law, I'll still wonder every month when I'm writing those checks.


I think you have the wrong thread lol common mistake.

Danteshek
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Danteshek » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:24 am

SLU is one of the embarrassingly run law schools in the nation. Check out recent stories on ABOVE THE LAW. They hired a personal injury lawyer to be dean and promptly fired him for making inappropriate comments. The University routinely raids the law school's coffers

Do I think FIU is that bad? YES. Do I think you'll get a job after you graduate from FIU. NO (despite what you think are close ties)

You need to go to a respectable law school. Cincinnati is the closest thing you're got at a price that won't cripple you for life.

To close, I will tell you a story. Once, I attended for 1L Southwestern Law School in LA. I had excellent contacts all over the top of the legal community in LA. I come from a prominent historical family. But guess what? All those contacts could not do anything for me even though they wanted to, even after I transferred to Loyola and made law review.

I did fine in the end (just got a two-year fellowship valued at $130,000), but your career is in your hands. None of those other people are going to give you a job, no matter how much they like you.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:02 am

Danteshek wrote:SLU is one of the embarrassingly run law schools in the nation. Check out recent stories on ABOVE THE LAW. They hired a personal injury lawyer to be dean and promptly fired him for making inappropriate comments. The University routinely raids the law school's coffers

Do I think FIU is that bad? YES. Do I think you'll get a job after you graduate from FIU. NO (despite what you think are close ties)

You need to go to a respectable law school. Cincinnati is the closest thing you're got at a price that won't cripple you for life.

To close, I will tell you a story. Once, I attended for 1L Southwestern Law School in LA. I had excellent contacts all over the top of the legal community in LA. I come from a prominent historical family. But guess what? All those contacts could not do anything for me even though they wanted to, even after I transferred to Loyola and made law review.

I did fine in the end (just got a two-year fellowship valued at $130,000), but your career is in your hands. None of those other people are going to give you a job, no matter how much they like you.

It's a really terrible idea to move to a new city to attend a school like Cincinnati.

I think FIU or St. Louis is a reasonable choice at these prices, the rest are bad news.




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