Crisis... WUSTL vs. UF

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rpsullivan1019
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Crisis... WUSTL vs. UF

Postby rpsullivan1019 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:51 am

$32K/yr at WUSTL versus $10K/$8K/$8K at UF. Grew up in Florida, and will be graduating from UF Undergrad in a few weeks, but have higher aspirations. Lots of family that I'm not close to in StL. Indifferent about practicing in Florida, but don't want to go much further west than StL.

Deposits at both schools are due tomorrow or I forfeit my scholarships... I am so conflicted.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Crisis... WUSTL vs. UF

Postby somewhatwayward » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:16 am

rpsullivan1019 wrote:$32K/yr at WUSTL versus $10K/$8K/$8K at UF. Grew up in Florida, and will be graduating from UF Undergrad in a few weeks, but have higher aspirations. Lots of family that I'm not close to in StL. Indifferent about practicing in Florida, but don't want to go much further west than StL.

Deposits at both schools are due tomorrow or I forfeit my scholarships... I am so conflicted.


Calculate your COA. If you go to UF, can you live at home? Where do you want to practice? If not FL, don't go to UF. WUSTL places more broadly but if you're aiming for DC or NY, I'd hesitate to recommend WUSTL since it places in the single digits in those places. Likewise, WUSTL apparently place less than 5% in FL, so if that is your aim, don't go to WUSTL.

Also, if you have $32K/year at WUSTL, what other options do you have? Higher aspirations may be better served by better schools than these if you can stomach the debt and big law.

What are those aspirations? WUSTL's big law placement's at 23% while UF's is at 9%, but UF actually edges WUSTL out in clerkship placement (both around 3% with UF a few tenths of a percentage higher). You should not choose either of these schools on the basis of clerkship placement, though. Your chance is too low from either of them for that to make sense.

Depending on what your aspirations are, I'd be tempted to tell you to take time off and retake/reapply. You're still in undergrad. You have little or no WE. Law school is not going anywhere, and if you aspire to big law, a clerkship, or academia, these school don't give you a good chance. You could sign up for the June LSAT and see if you could, at the very least, squeeze some more scholarship $ out of wherever you decide to deposit if you don't want to take time off.

I know you want some advice on UF/WUSTL since you are trying to decide by tomorrow and, I assume, will want to deposit somewhere even if you would consider retake/reapply. I am really struggling to figure out what to recommend. It appears that UF would cost like $75K total while WUSTL would cost like $100K total. It seems too costly for both of them. If WUSTL was $75K, that'd be much closer to the correct choice. Both WUSTL and UF leave a lot of their class un/underemployed which is a dicey situation with debt above, what, 50K? The place you want to practice may be determinative: if FL, UF; if the midwest, WUSTL; anywhere else I'd strongly recommend retake/reapply.

rpsullivan1019
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Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:43 am

Re: Crisis... WUSTL vs. UF

Postby rpsullivan1019 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:38 am

somewhatwayward wrote:
rpsullivan1019 wrote:$32K/yr at WUSTL versus $10K/$8K/$8K at UF. Grew up in Florida, and will be graduating from UF Undergrad in a few weeks, but have higher aspirations. Lots of family that I'm not close to in StL. Indifferent about practicing in Florida, but don't want to go much further west than StL.

Deposits at both schools are due tomorrow or I forfeit my scholarships... I am so conflicted.


Calculate your COA. If you go to UF, can you live at home? Where do you want to practice? If not FL, don't go to UF. WUSTL places more broadly but if you're aiming for DC or NY, I'd hesitate to recommend WUSTL since it places in the single digits in those places. Likewise, WUSTL apparently place less than 5% in FL, so if that is your aim, don't go to WUSTL.

Also, if you have $32K/year at WUSTL, what other options do you have? Higher aspirations may be better served by better schools than these if you can stomach the debt and big law.

What are those aspirations? WUSTL's big law placement's at 23% while UF's is at 9%, but UF actually edges WUSTL out in clerkship placement (both around 3% with UF a few tenths of a percentage higher). You should not choose either of these schools on the basis of clerkship placement, though. Your chance is too low from either of them for that to make sense.

Depending on what your aspirations are, I'd be tempted to tell you to take time off and retake/reapply. You're still in undergrad. You have little or no WE. Law school is not going anywhere, and if you aspire to big law, a clerkship, or academia, these school don't give you a good chance. You could sign up for the June LSAT and see if you could, at the very least, squeeze some more scholarship $ out of wherever you decide to deposit if you don't want to take time off.

I know you want some advice on UF/WUSTL since you are trying to decide by tomorrow and, I assume, will want to deposit somewhere even if you would consider retake/reapply. I am really struggling to figure out what to recommend. It appears that UF would cost like $75K total while WUSTL would cost like $100K total. It seems too costly for both of them. If WUSTL was $75K, that'd be much closer to the correct choice. Both WUSTL and UF leave a lot of their class un/underemployed which is a dicey situation with debt above, what, 50K? The place you want to practice may be determinative: if FL, UF; if the midwest, WUSTL; anywhere else I'd strongly recommend retake/reapply.


My COA shouldn't be bad at all with either choice. I have been blessed with a family that is willing to support me as far as living expenses go, so the primary strain I'll be bearing is tuition, which given the scholarships, totals either $38K at UF or $45K at WUSTL over 3 years, given current tuition figures. And despite what the scholarship at WUSTL may indicate, I did not receive any comparable offers from other schools in that range. I honestly suspect that WUSTL offered me what they did because I indicated in a personal statement and an interview that they were my #1 choice (which, at the time, they were, until I got cold feet). My numbers are not above average for them (3.35 GPA and 167 LSAT) so I do not think that they based the scholarship on my measurables.

As far as my aspirations go, I really want to avoid becoming Joe Schmoe divorce/personal injury/criminal defense lawyer (not that there's anything wrong with it, just not my cup of tea). I would like to be living and practicing in a big city where my ceiling is high. I don't care about getting to NY or DC (too expensive to live there anyway), although I am not sternly opposed to living there.

I had a feeling the suggestion to take a year off would arise. I would rather not take a year off. I have been mentally preparing myself for a long time now to go to law school right after graduating, and with degrees in music and political science, I can't see meaningful employment as a reality anyway. I do appreciate the input though.

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romothesavior
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Re: Crisis... WUSTL vs. UF

Postby romothesavior » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:56 am

So you could graduate with less than 60k debt from WUSTL? I would take that hands down unless you're dead set on Florida after graduation.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Crisis... WUSTL vs. UF

Postby somewhatwayward » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:01 am

Well, if your debt is going to be either 38K from UF (seems like UF would be less? 18K in-state minus 10/8/8 = 28K, right?) or 45K from WUSTL, it'd be fine to go to these schools now. If you land in the un/underemployed part of the class, I assume your family could help you out.

However, you should understand 1) that in the private sector (the only place you will have the high earning capacity you want) there is not a whole lot in between big law and the small law jobs you would like to avoid and 2) that you are looking at a decent to high chance of not having big urban city options from these schools. Regarding #1, this means that if you miss big law, which is the likely outcome from both schools (26% into big law/clerkship at WUSTL and 13% at UF), you are looking at small law jobs, some of which are better than flat-rate divorce firms, but the vast majority of which do not have the earning capacity you are aiming for.....think 40K-50K. There are very few mid law jobs available to recent gradates. Of course 40K-50K/year is manageable with such low debt. #2 speaks for itself, I think. If you don't want NYC/DC, what big cities do you want? Then we might be able to give you a sense of how likely your chances are at those cities.

Basically it is fine to pull the trigger here but understand that your aspirations of landing a high-paying job in a big city are limited by your options (one thing to note is that a big law position in a secondary market may actually be better financially than 160K in NYC, but big law positions in secondary markets are included in the 26% WUSTL/13% UF figures, so it is not like those are easy to come by). Since the costs are so close and you don't seem wed to FL, I would probably go with WUSTL, assuming you understand the limitations.




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