Miami v UF

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Donovan2110
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Miami v UF

Postby Donovan2110 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:43 pm

I've been accepted to both Miami and UF.

I have 100% post 9/11 GI Bill and was offered a spot in the Miami Scholars program (36k/yr 2.5 stip). Basically either school is free and I will receive a monthly stipend from the VA (higher in Mia).

Ties to Mia: My wife is from miami and has lived there with my son since I deployed. My son is autistic and all of his therapies are established in miami. We also have a couple places we rent in south Miami. It would be somewhat difficult to move, but doable, if I attend a school that would provide better post-graduation employment outcomes.

3.61/161 My ideal job would be Miami biglaw or biglaw in Florida period. I know the overall placement for both um and uf is around 10%. I'm sure a significant amount of T14 grads get offers in Florida.

Class sizes at miami have shrunk significantly. Maybe this will benefit new grads? Also, does anyone have experience with Miami Scholars? With my long term goals will um or uf be best or should I just sit out and retake?

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lawschool1741
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Re: Miami v UF

Postby lawschool1741 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:05 pm

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Last edited by lawschool1741 on Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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MarkfromWI
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Re: Miami v UF

Postby MarkfromWI » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:08 pm

Is there any reason, beyond the paycheck, that you specifically want biglaw? Considering the fact that you already have a life established in Miami and will be graduating debt free I really have a hard time saying you should sit out/retake or move up to Gainesville. If you were at all OK with other outcomes, e.g. midlaw/small law or DA/PD, you've got a pretty great opportunity.

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deadpanic
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Re: Miami v UF

Postby deadpanic » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:50 pm

So, is Miami free even if you lost the scholarship due to the GI bill?

Other than a retake, I would go to Miami due to ties and your situation. UF is not going to give you much more of a shot at big law.

If you are really big law or bust though, you have to retake. Neither school gives you a good enough chance. Totally ignorant on this: How long is the GI bill good for? I would retake for T14 if you must have big law and the GI bill will cover virtually all of any public school tuition.

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cloy26
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Re: Miami v UF

Postby cloy26 » Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:58 pm

deadpanic wrote:Other than a retake, I would go to Miami due to ties and your situation. UF is not going to give you much more of a shot at big law.


x2. UM holds its own, iirc, with regard to FL biglaw prospects. Not saying the chances are great, but not any less of an opportunity compared with UF.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Miami v UF

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:10 pm

I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but most of the time you can't double dip GI Bill and scholarships. The GI Bill is the payer of last resort: it pays what's left over after all scholarships and stipends are applied. I've heard that some schools may be willing to recode things to let you use the scholarship for cash, but that's the exception. Just want to make sure you're aware if you're expecting to pocket that 35k a year at Miami.

Anyway, given how established your life is in Miami, I would go there IF you're okay with the fact that you almost certainly won't get BigLaw. If working in a small firm with a 45k starting salary sounds awful to you, I wouldn't do it. If you would be alright with that, then Miami for free isn't a bad deal at all.

NonTradLawHopeful
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Re: Miami v UF

Postby NonTradLawHopeful » Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:06 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but most of the time you can't double dip GI Bill and scholarships. The GI Bill is the payer of last resort: it pays what's left over after all scholarships and stipends are applied. I've heard that some schools may be willing to recode things to let you use the scholarship for cash, but that's the exception. Just want to make sure you're aware if you're expecting to pocket that 35k a year at Miami.

Anyway, given how established your life is in Miami, I would go there IF you're okay with the fact that you almost certainly won't get BigLaw. If working in a small firm with a 45k starting salary sounds awful to you, I wouldn't do it. If you would be alright with that, then Miami for free isn't a bad deal at all.



Not true about combining scholarships and GI Bill. It is perfectly acceptable to combine both. A common way is done through the Yellow Ribbon Program, but traditional scholarships are also allowed.

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baal hadad
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Re: Miami v UF

Postby baal hadad » Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:18 pm

Don't go to Miami if you want biglaw

If you want a small firm job or pd da then Miami for free is ok

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Miami v UF

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:22 pm

NonTradLawHopeful wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but most of the time you can't double dip GI Bill and scholarships. The GI Bill is the payer of last resort: it pays what's left over after all scholarships and stipends are applied. I've heard that some schools may be willing to recode things to let you use the scholarship for cash, but that's the exception. Just want to make sure you're aware if you're expecting to pocket that 35k a year at Miami.

Anyway, given how established your life is in Miami, I would go there IF you're okay with the fact that you almost certainly won't get BigLaw. If working in a small firm with a 45k starting salary sounds awful to you, I wouldn't do it. If you would be alright with that, then Miami for free isn't a bad deal at all.



Not true about combining scholarships and GI Bill. It is perfectly acceptable to combine both. A common way is done through the Yellow Ribbon Program, but traditional scholarships are also allowed.


Sorry, my fault for wording it badly.

Yes, you can combine them, but you only to the point (generally) at which your tuition becomes 0. So, for example, say you are a 100% GI Bill eligible vet. You go to Law School X, where the tuition is 50k a year. Law School X offers you a 25k a year scholarship. Your scholarship is applied to your tuition, so now you owe 25k. GI Bill pays that 25k, and you're at a zero balance. What you can't do is go, "OK, GI Bill pays the 50k, so now my scholarship means I have a 25k credit to my name, and I can just pocket that." Once you get to a zero balance through a combination of GI Bill/scholarships, that's it. You can't get into the black.

This is GENERALLY the case. A few law schools will supposedly recode scholarships as cost of living grants, meaning you can pocket what's left over.

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Cicero76
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Re: Miami v UF

Postby Cicero76 » Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:41 pm

Retaking probably isn't a great idea here. Given how established you are in Miami, I would probably say UM is your best bet. I know you say biglaw is your "ideal" job, but don't be 100% all-in on it; as you noted, FL law schools don't place that well into the relatively few biglaw jobs there are in Florida. To be honest, the T14 don't place spectacularly well into them either, because there just aren't that many.

Being a veteran, however, may help a bit in the job search. Go to Miami, try to finagle them into making your scholarship a COL grant so the GI bill will pay your tuition, and get good grades. Then, good luck.

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Ex Cearulo
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Re: Miami v UF

Postby Ex Cearulo » Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:37 pm

You might be surprised at the number of UF Law grads in biglaw firms throughout the state of Florida. I know I was when I checked the websites for almost all of them. Doesn't mean they all went there straight from law school, but the UF Law network in Florida biglaw is strong. Didn't look for Miami grads so I can't speak to that.

OP, as a husband, father, and as AD military, I understand your situation. The 9/11 GI Bill is awesome, huh? It paid for my masters and it'll pay for all but a little bit of law school. NALP confirms what you wrote in your post: 10% of Miami's most recent class for which statistics are available (2013) went to firms with 100+ lawyers (43 out of 430). UF's numbers are slightly better: 12.7% (45 out of 354).

That being said, if you really want to stay in Miami, check out the websites for all the big firms that you can find and search for Miami Law grads and see how strong the network is. I wouldn't be surprised if that particular market was stronger for Miami than UF. Obviously a network won't be able to overcome less than excellent grades, but if it came down to crunch time I'd personally pick the school with the better "in" to the market I want, particularly if cost isn't a factor like in your case.

Best of luck to you.

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deadpanic
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Re: Miami v UF

Postby deadpanic » Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:59 pm

Ex Cearulo wrote:You might be surprised at the number of UF Law grads in biglaw firms throughout the state of Florida. I know I was when I checked the websites for almost all of them. Doesn't mean they all went there straight from law school, but the UF Law network in Florida biglaw is strong. Didn't look for Miami grads so I can't speak to that.

OP, as a husband, father, and as AD military, I understand your situation. The 9/11 GI Bill is awesome, huh? It paid for my masters and it'll pay for all but a little bit of law school. NALP confirms what you wrote in your post: 10% of Miami's most recent class for which statistics are available (2013) went to firms with 100+ lawyers (43 out of 430). UF's numbers are slightly better: 12.7% (45 out of 354).

That being said, if you really want to stay in Miami, check out the websites for all the big firms that you can find and search for Miami Law grads and see how strong the network is. I wouldn't be surprised if that particular market was stronger for Miami than UF. Obviously a network won't be able to overcome less than excellent grades, but if it came down to crunch time I'd personally pick the school with the better "in" to the market I want, particularly if cost isn't a factor like in your case.

Best of luck to you.


Of course a lot of attorneys in Florida big law went to UF...years ago. The hiring situation is way different at this point.

I agree with you that if OP wants to practice in Miami, he should go to UM, not UF. But I don't think checking the web sites of big law firms as a basis for some "network" will be very helpful. From either UF or UM, you will need to be about top 10% to get a big law job, so you can't count on it from either.

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Ex Cearulo
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Re: Miami v UF

Postby Ex Cearulo » Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:19 pm

deadpanic wrote:
Ex Cearulo wrote:You might be surprised at the number of UF Law grads in biglaw firms throughout the state of Florida. I know I was when I checked the websites for almost all of them. Doesn't mean they all went there straight from law school, but the UF Law network in Florida biglaw is strong. Didn't look for Miami grads so I can't speak to that.

OP, as a husband, father, and as AD military, I understand your situation. The 9/11 GI Bill is awesome, huh? It paid for my masters and it'll pay for all but a little bit of law school. NALP confirms what you wrote in your post: 10% of Miami's most recent class for which statistics are available (2013) went to firms with 100+ lawyers (43 out of 430). UF's numbers are slightly better: 12.7% (45 out of 354).

That being said, if you really want to stay in Miami, check out the websites for all the big firms that you can find and search for Miami Law grads and see how strong the network is. I wouldn't be surprised if that particular market was stronger for Miami than UF. Obviously a network won't be able to overcome less than excellent grades, but if it came down to crunch time I'd personally pick the school with the better "in" to the market I want, particularly if cost isn't a factor like in your case.

Best of luck to you.


Of course a lot of attorneys in Florida big law went to UF...years ago. The hiring situation is way different at this point.

I agree with you that if OP wants to practice in Miami, he should go to UM, not UF. But I don't think checking the web sites of big law firms as a basis for some "network" will be very helpful. From either UF or UM, you will need to be about top 10% to get a big law job, so you can't count on it from either.


I mean I'm not going to go back to every single website and get hard data but I do remember seeing that a substantial number of them were relatively young. As in graduated within the past 5 years. And the point of checking the websites was just to see if there was a noticeable difference in the number of grads from either school in the Miami market. If so, it might indicate that one could be better for employment there than the other - with the obvious caveat that you likely need top 10% no matter what, which we both already mentioned. No of course OP shouldn't count on it.




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