GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

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TheSpanishMain
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GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:40 am

Kind of a unique situation, so please bear with me.

I'm getting off of active duty to attend law school, but my wife is still active duty and owes time. She'll be going to a new duty station right about the time I would be attending law school next year. I'm unwilling to live apart from her for three years. We're both in the military, and between deployments and training we've had enough Skype for awhile.

I applied pretty widely, mostly for scholarship negotiation purposes and to give myself options wherever the military decided to place us. So far, been accepted at the following places:

GULC
GW
Vandy
WUSTL
UCLA
W&M
Maryland
San Diego
Wake Forest
W&L
UF
UNC

It seems that we're going to be placed either in DC (long shot), Hampton Roads, VA (probable) or Florida (possible). So, my choices realistically come down to GULC/GW, W&M, or UF. Between GI Bill and scholarships, W&M and UF would both be completely free. No COA whatsoever. GULC and GW would presumably involve some debt, although less than sticker.

As far as my goals, I'm not particularly interested in big law. I'm much more interested in JAG or the civil service, even at the ADA level. In addition to being a vet, I'm also a former federal civilian employee, so I do have that in my pocket if I apply for fed jobs. Geographically, I've moved all over since graduating from undergrad in 2005, but I've spent more time in Virginia than anywhere else. It's probably where I have the most "ties." My wife is originally from Florida, and I think would like to end up there post-military. I'm pretty open about where we live long term, other than a general preference for warm vs. cold climates.

Any thoughts? We still have SOME ability to influence where we're placed. My first instinct is to fight hard for DC, but I wonder if W&M or UF for free would be a better choice, given my lack of Big Law ambition.

Many mahalos.

badaboom61
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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby badaboom61 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:58 am

How much debt would you be in at GULC or GW?

If it's significant, Florida for zero cost sounds like a pretty good option. State government jobs and JAG are often available for those who pursue them, although fed gov not so much.

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dsn32
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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby dsn32 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:10 am

I have no idea how far UVA is from your mention VA location, but they have a JAG specific program and its a top notch school.

But as the above poster said, UF is not at all a bad option if you're in FL, I'd personally stick to GULC or GW in the DC area.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:39 am

dsn32 wrote:I have no idea how far UVA is from your mention VA location, but they have a JAG specific program and its a top notch school.

But as the above poster said, UF is not at all a bad option if you're in FL, I'd personally stick to GULC or GW in the DC area.


Pretty far. Unless I'm mistaken, UVA doesn't have a JAG specific program. Charlottesville, though, is where the Army JAG school is located, so that might be what you're thinking of.

GULC and GW are the only DC area schools I even applied to. The rest didn't seem worth the app fee. William and Mary is in Williamsburg, which is in the Hampton Roads area, about 2.5-3 hours south of DC.

badaboom61 wrote:How much debt would you be in at GULC or GW?



Back of the envelope best guess, 80-100k.

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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby nebula666 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:53 am

I would probably go to GULC for 80K but since you don't want biglaw UF for free is a pretty good option.

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AT9
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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby AT9 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:57 am

I'm an 0L who happens to also be applying/accepted to several of your schools, so take this for what it's worth.

Given your background and career goals, I'd just go with W&M if she's stationed in Hampton Roads and UF if in Florida. Those schools are pretty good options for free IMO. I'd only consider taking on the debt if she winds up in DC. I'm interested in JAG as we'll but don't have quite as impressive a background. Good luck!

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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby NavyLaw » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:53 am

badaboom61 wrote:How much debt would you be in at GULC or GW?

If it's significant, Florida for zero cost sounds like a pretty good option. State government jobs and JAG are often available for those who pursue them, although fed gov not so much.


If you are eligible for yellow ribbon, GULC will be practically free. They give $10K/year, matched by the VA, on top of the $18K annual tuition stipend. At $38K, you only have a few grand a year left out of pocket, not to mention the E-5 DC BAH you will be getting (though not sure how this works if you are a dependent). I think GW has a similar yellow ribbon contribution as well.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:25 pm

Not yellow ribbon eligible, sadly. I'm a reservist technically, and my active duty time falls just shy of 36 months

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deadpanic
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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby deadpanic » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:24 pm

I really think there is a good case for W&M unless you can go to GULC for 100k or less.

W&M is in the area your wife will likely be stationed, is in a state (area?) you have the most ties, and it places decently into DC if you do well enough.

Now, of course if you are really wanting to eventually end up in Florida then you should go with UF for free.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:45 pm

Appreciate the responses so far. I think it ultimately will come down to whether we want to be in Virgnia/DC or Florida. And, of course, we're still somewhat at the mercy of Navy Personnel Command. I did visit W&M and spoke to a few students and a professor, and got a good vibe from the place overall.

UF just scares me a little, because even though it's a state flagship, it's employment score isn't exactly killing it. Anecdotally, my brother-in-law is a NU alum who practices in Florida, and says that UF is really respected throughout the state and travels well within Florida. He said that paying full price there would be pretty dumb, but free is a pretty solid deal. Just one guy's opinion, anyway.

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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby badaboom61 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:10 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:Appreciate the responses so far. I think it ultimately will come down to whether we want to be in Virgnia/DC or Florida. And, of course, we're still somewhat at the mercy of Navy Personnel Command. I did visit W&M and spoke to a few students and a professor, and got a good vibe from the place overall.

UF just scares me a little, because even though it's a state flagship, it's employment score isn't exactly killing it. Anecdotally, my brother-in-law is a NU alum who practices in Florida, and says that UF is really respected throughout the state and travels well within Florida. He said that paying full price there would be pretty dumb, but free is a pretty solid deal. Just one guy's opinion, anyway.


GULC for 100k seems like a bad option if you don't want big law. Their LRAP is decent, although it traps you in public service through PSLF and you may or may not have problems qualifying depending on your wife's salary.

Paying 100k for GW should be a crime.

Can't speak to W&M, but I know UF is the best school in the state (granted, not saying much) and travels well throughout. Employers that care more about experience than pedigree, including state government and small firms, love to hire UF grads with good stories to tell. The pay won't be great, but at zero debt it'll be liveable.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:24 pm

badaboom61 wrote:The pay won't be great, but at zero debt it'll be liveable.


Sure. I don't necessarily want to say I'd NEVER do Big Law...if the opportunity happened to come along, I might consider it. I'm pretty concerned with work/life balance though. I'd rather work a reasonable amount of hours and make a decent salary versus pound myself to dust.

And I wouldn't mind starting out at a lower salary as long as the job had some growth potential. Making 50-60k to START is fine, but I don't want to be making that forever.

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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby badaboom61 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:58 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
badaboom61 wrote:The pay won't be great, but at zero debt it'll be liveable.


Sure. I don't necessarily want to say I'd NEVER do Big Law...if the opportunity happened to come along, I might consider it. I'm pretty concerned with work/life balance though. I'd rather work a reasonable amount of hours and make a decent salary versus pound myself to dust.

And I wouldn't mind starting out at a lower salary as long as the job had some growth potential. Making 50-60k to START is fine, but I don't want to be making that forever.


Working for state government, you'll never make much more than that.

Firms vary widely. I'm sure you're familiar with bimodal salary distribution, but there's a lot of smaller firms in Florida that start their attorneys closer to 40, and these jobs are considered pretty good to many UF grads. Long run salary will depend much more on the type of law you practice and amount of business you can drum up.

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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby BigZuck » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:49 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
badaboom61 wrote:The pay won't be great, but at zero debt it'll be liveable.


Sure. I don't necessarily want to say I'd NEVER do Big Law...if the opportunity happened to come along, I might consider it. I'm pretty concerned with work/life balance though. I'd rather work a reasonable amount of hours and make a decent salary versus pound myself to dust.

And I wouldn't mind starting out at a lower salary as long as the job had some growth potential. Making 50-60k to START is fine, but I don't want to be making that forever.


What do you consider decent? I don't know that there is any such thing as work-life balance for an attorney. It's highly unlikely for an attorney making good money (if I read you correctly and by decent you actually mean good, like 80-100K or more).

I'm not sure that good paying lawyer jobs that aren't big law exist, especially for recent grads. Can you point to something concrete and say "There, that's the type of job I want and here is how it is attainable?"

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:20 pm

BigZuck wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:
badaboom61 wrote:Can you point to something concrete and say "There, that's the type of job I want and here is how it is attainable?"


Well, as I said, my first choice is JAG. It's kind of a crap shoot, but I've spoken to several JAG recruiters and been told I have as good a shot as anyone. Being a veteran definitely helps, and my civilian service with the federal government goes a long way (I'm told) towards demonstrating a genuine commitment to public service.

If I miss JAG, I'll probably try to go to the ADA route, with JAG in the reserves. I know the ADA route doesn't pay a ton to start out, but being a JAG reservist also brings in some cash (and adds time towards a pension) and I assume ADAs, like any other government employee, see raises as time goes by. I know it's never going to get to Big Law levels, but I figure between zero debt and my wife's (very healthy) income, we'll at least be comfortable if not balling out.

I only said I wasn't completely dismissing Big Law because I know I'm a 0L and maybe my interests will totally change when I'm actually in school. Who knows, maybe I'll become really fascinated by bankruptcy or something.

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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby BigZuck » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:40 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:
badaboom61 wrote:Can you point to something concrete and say "There, that's the type of job I want and here is how it is attainable?"


Well, as I said, my first choice is JAG. It's kind of a crap shoot, but I've spoken to several JAG recruiters and been told I have as good a shot as anyone. Being a veteran definitely helps, and my civilian service with the federal government goes a long way (I'm told) towards demonstrating a genuine commitment to public service.

If I miss JAG, I'll probably try to go to the ADA route, with JAG in the reserves. I know the ADA route doesn't pay a ton to start out, but being a JAG reservist also brings in some cash (and adds time towards a pension) and I assume ADAs, like any other government employee, see raises as time goes by. I know it's never going to get to Big Law levels, but I figure between zero debt and my wife's (very healthy) income, we'll at least be comfortable if not balling out.

I only said I wasn't completely dismissing Big Law because I know I'm a 0L and maybe my interests will totally change when I'm actually in school. Who knows, maybe I'll become really fascinated by bankruptcy or something.


I'm sorry bro, missed the JAG part. If you can get that or something in PI then that could be a potentially sweet deal based on what I've heard. I was thinking you were talking about work/life balance and decent pay in the private sector.

Anyway I think if you can snag GULC for 80K-100K that sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.

It was probably addressed and I just missed it, but why no UVA? The mere thought of using the GI bill to get UVA for freesies gets me all tingly.

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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby twenty » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:58 am

If you want biglaw at some point (or feel like you might want it in two years), definitely GULC. That said, if you don't, there's not going to be a huge advantage for you at GULC over a solid regional school near your wife. You're not a K-JD, and you don't need a year long fellowship with a non-profit that helps vets to demonstrate your commitment to JAG.

If I were in your situation, I'd probably go with the T1 near your wife for free.

The mere thought of using the GI bill to get UVA for freesies gets me all tingly


Unfortunately, reservists don't get the post 9/11 GI Bill unless they do three years in active duty.

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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby BigZuck » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:31 am

Yeah I don't know how the GI Bill stuff works but I thought he said in the OP that he got it. Clearly I haven't done a very good job of reading/understanding this thread. I will politely bow out now, carry on my good bros...

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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby TheSpanishMain » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:14 am

twentypercentmore wrote:If you want biglaw at some point (or feel like you might want it in two years), definitely GULC. That said, if you don't, there's not going to be a huge advantage for you at GULC over a solid regional school near your wife. You're not a K-JD, and you don't need a year long fellowship with a non-profit that helps vets to demonstrate your commitment to JAG.

If I were in your situation, I'd probably go with the T1 near your wife for free.

The mere thought of using the GI bill to get UVA for freesies gets me all tingly


Unfortunately, reservists don't get the post 9/11 GI Bill unless they do three years in active duty.


Half true. Reservists don't get the full 100% benefit unless they have 36 months. If they have less, it's pro-rated. My active duty time between deployments and mobilizations is about 30 months, so I'm entitled to 90%. https://gibill.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/947 I can also claim in-state tuition as a military spouse wherever my wife has orders, so the VA will cover 90% of my tuition at either W&M or UF if we're assigned there. The other 10% I can make up with scholarship money.

As for why no UVA, I did apply, but mostly for negotiation purposes. It's an amazing school, no doubt, but there's no way for my wife to be assigned anywhere near Charlottesville, and like I said, I'm just not willing to do 3 years long distance. Also, they've been completely silent on my application...

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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby midwest17 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:00 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:If you want biglaw at some point (or feel like you might want it in two years), definitely GULC. That said, if you don't, there's not going to be a huge advantage for you at GULC over a solid regional school near your wife. You're not a K-JD, and you don't need a year long fellowship with a non-profit that helps vets to demonstrate your commitment to JAG.

If I were in your situation, I'd probably go with the T1 near your wife for free.

The mere thought of using the GI bill to get UVA for freesies gets me all tingly


Unfortunately, reservists don't get the post 9/11 GI Bill unless they do three years in active duty.


Half true. Reservists don't get the full 100% benefit unless they have 36 months. If they have less, it's pro-rated. My active duty time between deployments and mobilizations is about 30 months, so I'm entitled to 90%. https://gibill.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/947 I can also claim in-state tuition as a military spouse wherever my wife has orders, so the VA will cover 90% of my tuition at either W&M or UF if we're assigned there. The other 10% I can make up with scholarship money.

As for why no UVA, I did apply, but mostly for negotiation purposes. It's an amazing school, no doubt, but there's no way for my wife to be assigned anywhere near Charlottesville, and like I said, I'm just not willing to do 3 years long distance. Also, they've been completely silent on my application...


Isn't the GI bill the last payer? I.e they pay 90% of what's left over after scholarships, not 90% of full tuition and then scholarships for the rest?

I don't really know much about it, but I think that's what I've read on TLS.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby TheSpanishMain » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:05 pm

Funny you mention that, I literally just got off the phone with the VA reps this morning. You are correct. So after scholarships and VA, I'll owe like $600 out of pocket. I'll end up making way more than that in living stipends, though, so it still works out to zero debt.

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twenty
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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby twenty » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:54 pm

Are there any other non-9/11 GI Bill options you can draw from to make up the last 10%? I mean, obviously you could draw it from your cost of living, but I'm just curious.

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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby Oldmanriver » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:36 pm

You say you want JAG. Any idea what branch? I don't know what the situation is with other branches but the Marines JAG program has abruptly ended as of this month according to the Marine recruiter I was speaking with. Might want to make sure JAG is still an option.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:19 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:Are there any other non-9/11 GI Bill options you can draw from to make up the last 10%? I mean, obviously you could draw it from your cost of living, but I'm just curious.


Not sure. Gotta look into outside options more.

Oldmanriver wrote:You say you want JAG. Any idea what branch? I don't know what the situation is with other branches but the Marines JAG program has abruptly ended as of this month according to the Marine recruiter I was speaking with. Might want to make sure JAG is still an option.


Navy/Army, in that order. That's crazy about the Marine JAG program. Is it just stalled for this fiscal year, or what? I can't imagine they're just never taking new JAGs ever, since existing ones are obviously going to be retiring/ETSing.

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Re: GULC/GW vs. W&M vs. UF

Postby TheSpanishMain » Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:25 am

Necro'ing my own thread. I got into UVA yesterday. Pretty shocked as that was a huge reach for me. UVA for free obviously changes the calculus somewhat.




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