South Carolina vs. Alabama

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Rolltide123
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South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby Rolltide123 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:24 am

So I have narrowed my choice down to Alabama and South Carolina. I am from South Carolina but now live with my family in Birmingham, AL and I attend the University of Alabama. I am a Senior graduating in May. I know I want to either end up back in South Carolina (We are from Charleston, as is the rest of my family) or in a big firm in Birmingham. I have equal connections in both legal markets due to my fathers connections in Birmingham, my federal judicial internship, and my families connections back in Charleston. I got into both schools. I received a little more than half scholarship at Alabama (instate tuition is also very low). Have not heard back from USC about scholarships (Pretty sure ill get a full) Any advice on which I should pick? Which is more marketable? Are there any other factors I should be considering?

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DaRascal
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby DaRascal » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:55 am

Swagabama

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eriedoctrine
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby eriedoctrine » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:19 am

UA.

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romothesavior
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:28 am

What are your stats?

Have you tried negotiating with Alabama?

I think Alabama wins this race but I would try to negotiate more money, especially if you do get a full from SC. When you go to negotiate, play up that you're from there and got a full ride, but you would prefer to stay in Alabama.

jepper
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby jepper » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:42 am

From Columbia. Lived here my entire life except for undergrad. Facing similar scenarios but I have received almost full tuition from UA. I wouldn't be so confident in a full tuition scholarship from USC considering if you look at their report there are like 4 people in the entire school with one.

Also, for whatever reason, every lawyer I have ever talked to in this state looks at me like I have two heads when I talk about going to Vandy or somewhere else other than USC. To most South Carolina attorneys, USC is by far the best option.

That's not to say that there is no value in going somewhere else. I know a few attorneys who work in Columbia who went to much, much better schools then UA that seem to be doing better than the average USC grad. But that might have to do with them just being innately smarter and hardworking.

Point: I am still on the fence myself about whether there is a significant advantage to going to another school with the plan of returning to SC long term. Especially because there arent many jobs that can comfortably service any kind of significant debt.

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deadpanic
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby deadpanic » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:32 pm

I think it really boils down to where you want to practice and what you want to do, assuming costs are about equal.

I would take USC. Charleston is probably one of the most insular and desirable markets to crack. And they love locals, especially if your family has been there for generations. That being said, there is really no big law in SC.

Only take UA if you are just dead set on Birmingham "big law." Even then, not really guaranteed unless you are top of the class.

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Dr. Review
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby Dr. Review » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:37 pm

I work at mid-size to large regional firm with an office in Charleston, and every single one of our attorneys in that office went to one of USC and Charleston, the vast majority being USC grads. If you want to work in SC, particularly Charleston, you are best served by attending a school located in SC.

Rolltide123
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby Rolltide123 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:03 pm

Thanks guys. Will a better law degree from alabama not look better with connections than a 3rd tier law degree from USC with the same connections. Being a 3rd generation charlestonian I know South Carolina is a very insular market but most of the attorneys I know In charleston look a lot more fondly on unc and wake grads than USC these days because of its falling ranks. Alabama is really impressive with a good regional rep. I want to probably end up back in charleston but it's hard to commit to USC .

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deadpanic
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby deadpanic » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:24 pm

Rolltide123 wrote:Thanks guys. Will a better law degree from alabama not look better with connections than a 3rd tier law degree from USC with the same connections. Being a 3rd generation charlestonian I know South Carolina is a very insular market but most of the attorneys I know In charleston look a lot more fondly on unc and wake grads than USC these days because of its falling ranks. Alabama is really impressive with a good regional rep. I want to probably end up back in charleston but it's hard to commit to USC .


No, it will not look better. Forget the rankings: They are just state flagships that place best in their respective states.

If you want to be in Charleston, USC, outside the T14 or probably Vandy, is your best bet. Most attorneys do not honestly keep up with some rankings from a magazine; they do not care that South Carolina's ranking went from 93 to 103, or whatever it did. Same for Bama.

Even with connections, if you went to Bama for undergrad and law school yet want to practice in South Carolina, people are going to think that is weird. They are going to think you want to be in Alabama for whatever reason. They are not going to be impressed with a law degree from Tuscaloosa.

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romothesavior
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:35 pm

Those two schools are equivalent from a reputation standpoint. Both are state flagship schools with limited geographic reach.

Assuming both are equal in price, Alabama has better job prospects. You should try to negotiate more money before deciding.

Rolltide123
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby Rolltide123 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:11 pm

Alright thanks guys for the input! Pretty disappointed in the perceived notion nationwide that #23 ranked Alabama Law carries the same rank as South Carolina but I guess thats just the way it is. Ill probably end up staying at Bama due to the better job and salary prospects.

BigZuck
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby BigZuck » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:13 am

Rolltide123 wrote:Alright thanks guys for the input! Pretty disappointed in the perceived notion nationwide that #23 ranked Alabama Law carries the same rank as South Carolina but I guess thats just the way it is. Ill probably end up staying at Bama due to the better job and salary prospects.


Why would that disappoint you? Because some junk "news magazine" said one is better than the other? Do you even knew why it's supposedly better other than the fact that US News said so?

Just focus on getting a job. Ranking schools like Alabama on a nationwide scale is absurd, don't worry about it.

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Dr. Review
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby Dr. Review » Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:08 am

How USNWR rankings work in the real world (aka legal hiring):

T14: Doesn't matter what they rank, firms will seek applicants from these schools as they always have.
15-100: Meaningless. Attend a state flagship or regional powerhouse for free or near free.

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MistakenGenius
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Postby MistakenGenius » Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:39 am

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RTR87
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby RTR87 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:27 am

Alright thanks guys for the input! Pretty disappointed in the perceived notion nationwide that #23 ranked Alabama Law carries the same rank as South Carolina but I guess thats just the way it is. Ill probably end up staying at Bama due to the better job and salary prospects.


I wouldn't say there is zero value in going to a higher ranked school. I'm from Tennessee and worked for a firm there for a few years after finishing undergrad. Based on my experience, there is a perception among the many attorneys I know in Tennessee that some flagship schools (i.e. Georgia/Alabama) are better than other state schools like Arkansas, LSU, or Ole Miss. I can't say definitively that their USNWR rankings are the reason for that, but it's certainly possible that it plays a part. That being said, go to the school that will cost the least and is closest to where you want to work. Any perceived benefit is not worth paying extra money for, especially when you already know where you want to practice. Just my opinion.

BigZuck
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby BigZuck » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:24 am

RTR87 wrote:
Alright thanks guys for the input! Pretty disappointed in the perceived notion nationwide that #23 ranked Alabama Law carries the same rank as South Carolina but I guess thats just the way it is. Ill probably end up staying at Bama due to the better job and salary prospects.


I wouldn't say there is zero value in going to a higher ranked school. I'm from Tennessee and worked for a firm there for a few years after finishing undergrad. Based on my experience, there is a perception among the many attorneys I know in Tennessee that some flagship schools (i.e. Georgia/Alabama) are better than other state schools like Arkansas, LSU, or Ole Miss. I can't say definitively that their USNWR rankings are the reason for that, but it's certainly possible that it plays a part. That being said, go to the school that will cost the least and is closest to where you want to work. Any perceived benefit is not worth paying extra money for, especially when you already know where you want to practice. Just my opinion.


If you're basing your job search on what a Tennessee lawyer thinks is the better school between UGA and Arkansas then you're doing it wrong.

People will always think their state flagship is the best (alongside maybe some tippy top schools)

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romothesavior
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:59 am

RTR87 wrote:
Alright thanks guys for the input! Pretty disappointed in the perceived notion nationwide that #23 ranked Alabama Law carries the same rank as South Carolina but I guess thats just the way it is. Ill probably end up staying at Bama due to the better job and salary prospects.


I wouldn't say there is zero value in going to a higher ranked school. I'm from Tennessee and worked for a firm there for a few years after finishing undergrad. Based on my experience, there is a perception among the many attorneys I know in Tennessee that some flagship schools (i.e. Georgia/Alabama) are better than other state schools like Arkansas, LSU, or Ole Miss. I can't say definitively that their USNWR rankings are the reason for that, but it's certainly possible that it plays a part. That being said, go to the school that will cost the least and is closest to where you want to work. Any perceived benefit is not worth paying extra money for, especially when you already know where you want to practice. Just my opinion.

There may be some value to going to a higher ranked school, but that value is so minimal that you may as well treat it as zero.

Also, rankings are far, far less important than jobs data. In an era when we didn't have great jobs data, rankings may have served as a less than stellar proxy for jobs placement. But now that we have LST, which provides excellent breakdowns of job outcomes and geographic placement, why even use USNWR?

timbs4339
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:59 am

MistakenGenius wrote:During an interview, I had a Nelson Mullins attorney (from USC) curl his lip after reading my school and say "Denied by Harvard, eh?"


FYI that dude sounds like a dick.

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MistakenGenius
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Postby MistakenGenius » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:01 am

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jepper
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Re: South Carolina vs. Alabama

Postby jepper » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:48 am

MistakenGenius wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
MistakenGenius wrote:During an interview, I had a Nelson Mullins attorney (from USC) curl his lip after reading my school and say "Denied by Harvard, eh?"


FYI that dude sounds like a dick.


In my experience, most are at Nelson Mullins. It's supposed to be a real TTT. But it was just for my 1L summer.


Hmm.. interesting. I have not worked there but I have reached out two attorneys there, one an associate and one a partner, and both took me to lunch and paid for it. Although I can't speak to work environment, these instances were very non-dickish.




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