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

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romothesavior
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:11 am

SLU is a reasonable school at that price, if you and your girlfriend are looking to get married and she's looking to stay in the area. FIU for 30k is probably okay too. I mean, personally I don't think I'd go to SLU or FIU, but with your apparent LSAT ceiling, this might be the best you can do. Not going to law school is also an option.

ETA: But yes, SLU is an embarrassment right now. No idea how this will impact their job data, I doubt much given their strong alumni network in STL.

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:39 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.


What makes you say Cincinnati is that much better than SLU or FIU? Cincinnati has the worst employment stats out of the three.

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:41 am

romothesavior wrote:SLU is a reasonable school at that price, if you and your girlfriend are looking to get married and she's looking to stay in the area. FIU for 30k is probably okay too. I mean, personally I don't think I'd go to SLU or FIU, but with your apparent LSAT ceiling, this might be the best you can do. Not going to law school is also an option.

ETA: But yes, SLU is an embarrassment right now. No idea how this will impact their job data, I doubt much given their strong alumni network in STL.


FIU is basically free. The only costs I would have are paying for gas and for food expenses.

I understand not going to law school is another option, but I really do want to become an attorney.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby BarbellDreams » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:55 am

I cannot believe I am saying this but in your situation FIU is by far your best bet.

A lot of advice you're getting here is from 0L's who don't know what is happening and think throwing out 80K for some T2 school without solid connections is the best bet. I am a 3L who has been through it, and based on everything you're saying I think you grab FIU and run. Having virtually no debt is going to be HUGE for you and will open up a comfortable situation of taking a job in ANY sector without worrying about making loan payments. Furthermore, if your connections are as strong as you say they are, you will either be able to find work at that firm, with the judge you know, or through the undoubtedly large network both of those connections have.

Retaking is always great, and you getting into UF with no cost in this situation is obviously a much better option. But, if retaking is truly out of the question I really don't think FIU is a terrible choice for you. Don't take the debt when you dont need to, I cant put into words how badly 80K+ can cripple your future.

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romothesavior
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:11 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:I cannot believe I am saying this but in your situation FIU is by far your best bet.

I agree. I'd still retake (an LSAT class may be helpful, OP), but of these options, FIU for virtually free is TCR.

Danteshek is right that FIU is not a good school, and I don't doubt his experience at a school like Southwestern (especially at the height of the recession). But he's wrong that spending money to go going to a school like Cincinnati with no ties is good idea. We have the job data, and UC has terrible job data (honestly, most of these do). No reason to spend more money and move across the country for worse prospects.

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:15 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:I cannot believe I am saying this but in your situation FIU is by far your best bet.

A lot of advice you're getting here is from 0L's who don't know what is happening and think throwing out 80K for some T2 school without solid connections is the best bet. I am a 3L who has been through it, and based on everything you're saying I think you grab FIU and run. Having virtually no debt is going to be HUGE for you and will open up a comfortable situation of taking a job in ANY sector without worrying about making loan payments. Furthermore, if your connections are as strong as you say they are, you will either be able to find work at that firm, with the judge you know, or through the undoubtedly large network both of those connections have.

Retaking is always great, and you getting into UF with no cost in this situation is obviously a much better option. But, if retaking is truly out of the question I really don't think FIU is a terrible choice for you. Don't take the debt when you dont need to, I cant put into words how badly 80K+ can cripple your future.


Thanks a lot for the advice. 80K definitely can cripple my future. You put it into words enough that made me realize, 80K from an average school puts me in a bind. That is a big risk.

And thanks to everyone who offered their input. I think I'm going to narrow it down to FIU and SLU for now. And if I get off the Waitlist at WUSTL, I will consider that as well.

Goes like this:

FIU > SLU
-----------
WUSTL

Thanks Powerscore.

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:17 pm

romothesavior wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:I cannot believe I am saying this but in your situation FIU is by far your best bet.

I agree. I'd still retake (an LSAT class may be helpful, OP), but of these options, FIU for virtually free is TCR.

Danteshek is right that FIU is not a good school, and I don't doubt his experience at a school like Southwestern (especially at the height of the recession). But he's wrong that spending money to go going to a school like Cincinnati with no ties is good idea. We have the job data, and UC has terrible job data (honestly, most of these do). No reason to spend more money and move across the country for worse prospects.


Thanks Romo. I agree on the comparison between Cincy and FIU. Unless Cincy increased its offer by a lot, I wouldn't move across the county for less than a 50/50 shot of wing employed, while I already have minimal ties in the region.

I am definitely going to retake in June. I might look into Manhattan this time. powerscore helped a ton with LG, but I need to get LR below -5 and RC below -10. My RC was shit because I just couldn't read fast enough :/ sounds dumb.

Danteshek
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Danteshek » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:14 pm

OK. Can't argue too much with other viewpoints in this thread. I just place more weight in avoiding stench on a resume. It follows you around for life.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:28 pm

No offense intended whatsoever by this, I'm honestly not trying to be a douche, but with this slate I'm thinking UNLESS YOU HAVE A GUARANTEED OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT UPON PASSING THE BAR BEFORE ATTENDING from Florida int., or you get off the WUSTL waitlist, you may want to question your pursuit of a JD next year at all. The general opinion on sites like TLS along with much of the legal profession today is that the schools listed above (except GW and wustl) offer two things, 1) some technical training for the Bar in that state, and 2) a JD certificate; however, they do not present any better employment prospects than coming out of undergrad, which you've already completed. If you went to a known quantity for undergrad, you'd probably have more luck reaching back into that alumni network right now.

If you get off the wustl waitlist and you don't have a firm job offer practicing law in florida, if you do well at least you could land a job in St Louis that would let you pay off your debt. still risky though

Brixton
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Brixton » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:34 pm

My vote goes to WUSTL.

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romothesavior
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:47 pm

WUSTL at sticker is a terrible investment. Even with free housing.

<--- WUSTL student who loves the school

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jbagelboy
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:51 pm

romothesavior wrote:WUSTL at sticker is a terrible investment. Even with free housing.

<--- WUSTL student who loves the school


I bet about 40% of WUSTL students pay sticker + CoL

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hephaestus
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby hephaestus » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:53 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
romothesavior wrote:WUSTL at sticker is a terrible investment. Even with free housing.

<--- WUSTL student who loves the school


I bet about 40% of WUSTL students pay sticker + CoL

So 40% make terrible financial decisions. What's your point?

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:26 pm

I'm assuming, if admitted off the Waitlist of course, that WUSTL would give me some need based grant aid. That, along with minimal cost of living, would probably only put me just over 100K in debt. With interest, more around 125-130 range.

FIU is free. I have very strong ties to the region. I'm 100% sure one of those two contacts I mentioned in my OP would show me the ropes, not only after graduation, but also during law school and my 1L/2L summers. All the attorneys I speak to in South Florida advise me to just go to FIU for free, but I'm not sure if they all realize how bad the legal market actually is. In reality, some of them advise me to "just go to NSU" - eh, no.

If WUSTL works, I think I wouldn't be able to justify going to FIU over WUSTL. But, if it doesn't work out, it's between FIU and SLU (I am really hoping SLU ups it's offer; if not, then no SLU)

Danteshek
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Danteshek » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:10 pm

jbagelboy wrote:No offense intended whatsoever by this, I'm honestly not trying to be a douche, but with this slate I'm thinking UNLESS YOU HAVE A GUARANTEED OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT UPON PASSING THE BAR BEFORE ATTENDING from Florida int., or you get off the WUSTL waitlist, you may want to question your pursuit of a JD next year at all. The general opinion on sites like TLS along with much of the legal profession today is that the schools listed above (except GW and wustl) offer two things, 1) some technical training for the Bar in that state, and 2) a JD certificate; however, they do not present any better employment prospects than coming out of undergrad, which you've already completed. If you went to a known quantity for undergrad, you'd probably have more luck reaching back into that alumni network right now.

If you get off the wustl waitlist and you don't have a firm job offer practicing law in florida, if you do well at least you could land a job in St Louis that would let you pay off your debt. still risky though


Yeah, I agree with the bolded. Has OP even said why he wants to be a lawyer?

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:18 pm

Danteshek wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:No offense intended whatsoever by this, I'm honestly not trying to be a douche, but with this slate I'm thinking UNLESS YOU HAVE A GUARANTEED OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT UPON PASSING THE BAR BEFORE ATTENDING from Florida int., or you get off the WUSTL waitlist, you may want to question your pursuit of a JD next year at all. The general opinion on sites like TLS along with much of the legal profession today is that the schools listed above (except GW and wustl) offer two things, 1) some technical training for the Bar in that state, and 2) a JD certificate; however, they do not present any better employment prospects than coming out of undergrad, which you've already completed. If you went to a known quantity for undergrad, you'd probably have more luck reaching back into that alumni network right now.

If you get off the wustl waitlist and you don't have a firm job offer practicing law in florida, if you do well at least you could land a job in St Louis that would let you pay off your debt. still risky though


Yeah, I agree with the bolded. Has OP even said why he wants to be a lawyer?


I've always wanted to be an attorney, as cliche as that is lol

I've worked in a criminal defense firm and another civil litigation/real estate/bankruptcy firm. I liked all of those areas of law. I don't necessarily know what area of law I want to focus in, but I do know that I don't want to HAVE to do biglaw to make my payments to loans. I would be fine working in a midsize law firm, or doing governmental work. I really do think that the ins that I have in South Florida, along with good grades in school, will enable me to find a decent job following graduation - although I know everyone has that vision/mentality.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby TaipeiMort » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:56 pm

Please don't take advice from inexperienced 0Ls.

Your only chance at a happy/non-despondent life is FIU. Basically there is a tier of jobs you will never be eligible for at the entry-level (biglaw, clerkships, federal government, competitive state government).

However, if you start now, you can line yourself up for a pimp, pimp life. Basically become king of the region, know everyone in the area, different law practices, etc. You should be set up to get a good local firm job. You will be in the position to learn the market, learn a specialty, and make yourself free to a firm for 4-6 months. Thereafter, you may able to outearn top school kids after 10-15 years after you own your own practice and leverage local ties, knowledge of the area, and firm experience into a real practice.

All of the other options give you almost no shot at a happy life. You wont be in the position to hustle the type of job you want (no knowledge of the market, and debt which wont allow you to work for free). Understand that your decision to go to any of these schools is essentially the ROI of taking 200k or so (80k after repayment) and placing it on "0-11/first 12."

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:20 pm

TaipeiMort wrote:Please don't take advice from inexperienced 0Ls.

Your only chance at a happy/non-despondent life is FIU. Basically there is a tier of jobs you will never be eligible for at the entry-level (biglaw, clerkships, federal government, competitive state government).

However, if you start now, you can line yourself up for a pimp, pimp life. Basically become king of the region, know everyone in the area, different law practices, etc. You should be set up to get a good local firm job. You will be in the position to learn the market, learn a specialty, and make yourself free to a firm for 4-6 months. Thereafter, you may able to outearn top school kids after 10-15 years after you own your own practice and leverage local ties, knowledge of the area, and firm experience into a real practice.

All of the other options give you almost no shot at a happy life. You wont be in the position to hustle the type of job you want (no knowledge of the market, and debt which wont allow you to work for free). Understand that your decision to go to any of these schools is essentially the ROI of taking 200k or so (80k after repayment) and placing it on "0-11/first 12."



TaipeiMort: thanks for the great post. Basically what you said is what I have been trying to explain in regards to attending FIU this whole time. I understand that I won't be eligible for certain entry-level spots having attended FIU, but I would love to be able to do what you explained in your post - to live a pimp, pimp life by becoming a someone in the local market. The attorney I have been working for over the last two summers is exactly that and I would love to live that life/go along that path on my career (he graduated bottom 20% from Stetson in the 80s, kinda nuts). The best part about attending FIU is that I won't have any debt to pay back.

I totally agree with you and thank you for clarifying exactly what I envision happening if I attend FIU.

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untar614
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby untar614 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:31 pm

OP, did u apply to Miami? Considering you're connected to SoFla, and u should be able to live in ur grandpa's appt if u went there too, ot would liekly be a better option. Try to improve ur lsat and see if u can get some money from there or nova. The gpa is going to make scholarship money hard, but if you can break the 160's u might be able to get some and I think thatd leave u better off than any of the other choices if u could get decent money at one of those (preferably miami, but go with the money)

Username123
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby Username123 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:50 pm

untar614 wrote:OP, did u apply to Miami? Considering you're connected to SoFla, and u should be able to live in ur grandpa's appt if u went there too, ot would liekly be a better option. Try to improve ur lsat and see if u can get some money from there or nova. The gpa is going to make scholarship money hard, but if you can break the 160's u might be able to get some and I think thatd leave u better off than any of the other choices if u could get decent money at one of those (preferably miami, but go with the money)


Untar: yes I did apply to Miami. They didn't offer me any scholarship money. It seemed like the only scholarships they offered were of 25K or for the Miami scholars program. I asked to be reconsidered for merit aid and they denied my request, almost immediately. I also applied to NSU, as the attorney I work for and basically all the small to mid sized firm attorneys went to school there, but they only gave me $22,000 - according to their Dean, that's the largest scholarship they offer (tuition is 34K). I would get to live at home, but I don't want to go to NSU. I know it's reputation.

I do plan on retaking the LSAT this June. Depending on what I get, I might consider reapplying next cycle. I think I'll only consider reapplying next cycle if I get 161+. Any increase at all, I will notify the schools I am waitlisted on and the schools I deposited at to reconsider me for admissions/additional merit aid.

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untar614
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Re: Please offer some advice?

Postby untar614 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:35 am

Uschoolqb10 wrote:Untar: yes I did apply to Miami. They didn't offer me any scholarship money. It seemed like the only scholarships they offered were of 25K or for the Miami scholars program. I asked to be reconsidered for merit aid and they denied my request, almost immediately. I also applied to NSU, as the attorney I work for and basically all the small to mid sized firm attorneys went to school there, but they only gave me $22,000 - according to their Dean, that's the largest scholarship they offer (tuition is 34K). I would get to live at home, but I don't want to go to NSU. I know it's reputation.

I do plan on retaking the LSAT this June. Depending on what I get, I might consider reapplying next cycle. I think I'll only consider reapplying next cycle if I get 161+. Any increase at all, I will notify the schools I am waitlisted on and the schools I deposited at to reconsider me for admissions/additional merit aid.


Yeah, I know what u mean, I tend to not feel particularly great about nova either, but their placement seems about as good as some of the better ranked schools, even if isn't in the range one would really like, but that's the case for almost anything outside the top 20. Is FIU's rep supposed to be any better? I have a friend who will be graduating from nova next year, so i'll be curious to see how things work out from him, though he does come from a well-off family that may have connections to help him out. Hell, I even know someone who went to the diploma-mill that is Florida Coastal and now has a decent lawyer job in Miami, though he had to go get a LLM at GW first. I don't know, the South Florida market is pretty hard to decipher since despite being a big city its really nothing like NY or Chicago, lacking any top schools in the area. Maybe if you went to FIU and had minimal debt, if u graduated near the top and made connections you could come out alright, but you gotta consider the opportunity cost regarding what you could have gained in income and work experience otherwise, and also the risk of not doing really well. If that's the best deal you can get even after retaking and are really set on law, then I guess it's not the worst as you wouldn't have acquired much debt- just lost time, so you could take a shot knowing that you will need to get really good grades and network well, as long as you realize the statistics you will be dealing with.




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