WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

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RareExports
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WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby RareExports » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:12 am

I'm from a rural area and am attending undergrad at a Big 10 school. I no ties to any region I would consider practicing in, which I view as a positive--I'm totally open to practicing anywhere. I would like to do BigLaw--preferably in DC/mid-Atlantic, but will take what I can get, knowing DC is most difficult to crack. My numbers are 169/3.36 (had a strong upward GPA trend) in a rigorous undergrad program, and I worked full-time in a paid finance job during undergrad. I have some money saved up but will be paying for most of law school with debt.

I blanketed top-25 schools and have no prior biases toward any school or region. My best offers at this point appear to me to be 105k at WUSTL and sticker at UVA. Also have 75k at ND, W&M, and GW, 90k at USC, and still waiting on scholly info at Texas and UCLA. My preferences are very much up in the air and I'm waiting to see how final scholarships (including at schools at I didn't mention) shape out. UVA'S great BigLaw and DC placement draw me, but the 105k offer at WUSTL is also tempting. Which school would you wise TLS seers recommend, given my desire to reach BigLaw in the mid-Atlantic region while minimizing debt?

For what it's worth, I pt'd between 167 and 171, so I'm pretty content with my 169. I know a 169 is a lot different than a 171, but either way I'm at/above the 75ths at the schools I'm targeting, so I don't think a retake would help me all that much. In hindsight, I could have had a better GPA, but there's nothing that can be done now, so I just have to take it as is.

Edit: Willing to negotiate, obviously. For purposes of this discussion, assume the offers listed, unless you have reason to believe that one of my offers will increase significantly.
Last edited by RareExports on Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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sublime
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby sublime » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:19 am

..

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swampman
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby swampman » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:25 am

I think you're right a retake won't do much for you.

If you are completely set on Biglaw, UVA is the only option that gives a solid chance of that happening, but realize that even getting a biglaw job with that much debt means your life will really suck for a few years after graduating -- and not getting a biglaw job means relying on PAYE for the next 20 years. WUSTL will probably get you a job as a lawyer, but biglaw is not a likely outcome, and DC even less so. How much debt would you have after graduating WUSTL?

Any chance of talking you out of law school? If not, neither option is great, just depends how tied you are to your career goals and how debt averse you are, whether you plan on starting a family soon, etc.

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RareExports
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby RareExports » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:42 am

swampman wrote:I think you're right a retake won't do much for you.

If you are completely set on Biglaw, UVA is the only option that gives a solid chance of that happening, but realize that even getting a biglaw job with that much debt means your life will really suck for a few years after graduating -- and not getting a biglaw job means relying on PAYE for the next 20 years. WUSTL will probably get you a job as a lawyer, but biglaw is not a likely outcome, and DC even less so. How much debt would you have after graduating WUSTL?

Any chance of talking you out of law school? If not, neither option is great, just depends how tied you are to your career goals and how debt averse you are, whether you plan on starting a family soon, etc.

Finance has always intrigued me, but with that said, I think my skill set aligns better with law. I'm persuadable, but I've done a lot of research (including reading on TLS) and I think law is something that interests me more. I'm almost masochistic with work--I love having projects, assignments, and deadlines, and appreciate the feeling of reward upon completion beyond all else. I also (believe) I am skilled at writing, research, and logic. I'm sure this is an uncommon response, but I really enjoy meticulous research and precise editing, and I think law provides the greatest financial reward for this skill set.

I have no problem living tightly financially and I dislike spending money. I have always had no problem working very long and stressful hours. For me this is a question of the value of saving a great deal of money on law school with a smaller chance of landing BigLaw versus paying more to having a greater chance. With that said, I would assume that my class rank would be higher at WUSTL than UVA. This is entirely unfounded (and I'm sure every subsequent poster will be sure to let me know), but I think I could hit top 15-20% at WUSTL and around median at UVA.
Last edited by RareExports on Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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cannibal ox
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby cannibal ox » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:48 am

6778628 wrote:I think I could hit top 15-20% am prepared to finish median at WUSTL and I am prepared to finish around median at UVA.


Alright then. Carry on.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:37 am

6778628 wrote:\With that said, I would assume that my class rank would be higher at WUSTL than UVA. This is entirely unfounded (and I'm sure every subsequent poster will be sure to let me know), but I think I could hit top 15-20% at WUSTL and around median at UVA.

So then why not take a full ride at an even lower ranked school? If you can go from median at UVA to top 20% at WUSTL you don't need to go too much further down to guarantee yourself top 5%.

NonTradLawHopeful
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby NonTradLawHopeful » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:22 am

Whether you discuss the family reasons on here or not is up to you, just make sure you take those reasons into account for your own decision making.

BigZuck
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby BigZuck » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:44 pm

I could be totally wrong about this but as far as big law chances go, I wouldn't be surprised if you'd be better off median at UVA rather than barely in the top 20% at WUSTL

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monsterman
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby monsterman » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:07 pm

1L at UVA--completely anecdotal--but from the 2 and 3Ls I've spoken to, they have made it seem like anyone that really wants big law can get it here (of course I assume someone that didn't get big law will typically say that they didn't really want it anyway). That combined with info from career services makes it seem that you put yourself in a very solid position to get big law if you are within the top 60%--after that I guess it will depend a lot more on your abilities to network, hustle, etc.

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Hikikomorist
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Postby Hikikomorist » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:22 pm

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Last edited by Hikikomorist on Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Winston1984
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby Winston1984 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:31 pm

Can you list total COA for each?

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:44 pm

OP why are you considering law school? From what you wrote it sounds like working in finance and maybe an MBA down the road would make a lot more sense.

Either decision you are proposing carries significant risk, and it is absolutely not worth it if you don't want to be a lawyer.

Keep in mind that if you do sticker at UVA law school is not very fun, and then you will be working 70-80 hours a week for five years until you have paid off the debt. That's a long time to be killing yourself without reaping a financial reward.

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DoveBodyWash
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby DoveBodyWash » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:52 pm

BigZuck wrote:I could be totally wrong about this but as far as big law chances go, I wouldn't be surprised if you'd be better off median at UVA rather than barely in the top 20% at WUSTL

Not sure how UVA's unique system for OGI impacts the prospects for median students compared to other T14's but I lean towards agreeing with BigZuck.

(WUSTL student that transferred)

ETA: You should be able to get more from WUSTL if you negotiate. You'll have better idea towards April and May. I think it's too early to compare offers

The Dark Shepard
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby The Dark Shepard » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:38 pm

Did you not apply to the lower T14?

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RareExports
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby RareExports » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:23 pm

The Dark Shepard wrote:Did you not apply to the lower T14?

I applied everywhere NYU and down. WL at P, M, NW, C, and G, ding at B, and still waiting on NYU and D. I was a total blank slate coming in (and still am, to a lesser extent), so if I were admitted off any of the WLs, that school would immediately become a very serious consideration. Duke and NYU remain top choices as well, but with each passing day, my hopes diminish.

I understand that law school performance is largely unpredictable, but I do feel safe to assume that my class rank will be higher at WUSTL/GW/ND/UCLA/USC/etc. than at UVA, and I think that's worth something.

I think law represents a real marriage of my interests and skill sets. I've also read enough "Day in the Life of X" threads and TLS in general to be fully aware of the realities of debt, opportunity cost, billables, partners, stress, etc. and am very sure that law is what I want to do.

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jbagelboy
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:30 pm

Splitter decisions are tough. You won't get decent scholarship at any T14 with those grades. As for moving to St. Louis, it seems to have worked out for the TLSers there who all have great summer gigs lined up, but I don't know how well that speaks to general OCI success in the markets you're interested in. I would say probably not worth that leap unless you want to work in that part of the midwest and you'd be happy there.

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DoveBodyWash
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby DoveBodyWash » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:34 pm

6778628 wrote:I understand that law school performance is largely unpredictable, but I do feel safe to assume that my class rank will be higher at WUSTL/GW/ND/UCLA/USC/etc. than at UVA, and I think that's worth something.

Why? (genuinely curious)

Nomo
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Re: WUSTL (etc.) $$$ vs. UVA

Postby Nomo » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:15 pm

Paying sticker at UVA puts you paying over 3k a month on a standard repayment plan. That's not safe. Even if you get biglaw, that's not safe. And there is still a very real possibility that you won't get biglaw. I actually look at WUSTL as the safer option. At least you have a chance of eventually paying off that debt if you don't get biglaw (or if you layoffs, stealth layoffs, firm implosion, or pure misery drive you out within 3 years). I'm not calling WUSTL a good option, but it is the safer option.




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