UVA vs. UT

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UVA vs. UT

UVA (COA: $126,000 over three years)
1
5%
UT (COA: $0)
20
95%
 
Total votes: 21

TXgal
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UVA vs. UT

Postby TXgal » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:23 pm

Hello,

I’ve been a lurker here for a while (benefitting from the aggregate wisdom of you TLSers) and only just created an account. I’m incredibly torn between UVA and UT Austin and I could really use some advice! I was just recently admitted off the waitlist at UVA, BUT I would have to defer for one year. My offer from UT is for this fall. (I'm pretty neutral on deferring vs. going to law school this year, but I wanted to include this info anyway in case it is relevant.) I’ve read all of the UVA vs UT threads on TLS that I could find but I still don’t know what I should do.

The schools you are considering: UVA and UT Austin

The total Cost of Attendance of each: COA for UT would be $0, except for food and books and parking. I have a full tuition scholarship offer to UT and I can live at home for all three years (my parents live about 10-15 minutes from the university and I really don’t mind the idea of living at home at all.) UVA offered me a $90,000 scholarship over three years. I’m estimating the cost of rent and flights between VA and TX to be about $45,000 over three years, so the differential cost would be about $126,000 over UT.

TL;DNR version of COA: UT is $0 and UVA is $126,000 (for all three years).

How will you be financing your COA: I’m very fortunate to have great parents who have offered to pay for UVA if I want to go there.

Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties: My family lives in Austin (as mentioned previously) and I really, really, really want to end up working in Austin near them. If I can’t get a job in Austin then Houston is my second choice (I have extended family there and did an internship there in college). I would love to have a shot at biglaw, but my #1 priority is getting a job in Texas.

Your general career goals: Right now I’m thinking corporate law, or possibly estates and trusts or tax law. My background is in business so something transactional would probably be a good fit.

Your LSAT/GPA numbers: My LSAT score is a 170; my GPA is 4.0.

How many times you have taken the LSAT: 2x

Other misc. info:
1. Employment concerns: I’m concerned about getting back to TX from UVA. Can anyone speak to the OGI process at UVA for people trying to get jobs in TX? Are callbacks more stressful coming from VA to TX? It seems like trying to fly back and forth from TX to VA would eat up a TON of time (as opposed to simply driving from Austin to Houston). Is Texas biglaw pretty much dominated by UT, or do UVA students do well here? Do employers dig deeper into UVA’s graduating class, or are UVA students viewed pretty much the same as UT students? Would a UVA student be at a disadvantage for networking purposes since they didn’t go to school here in TX?
2. General quality of life: I toured both schools this spring; I LOVED UVA and felt so-so about UT. I personally think UVA would be a much better fit for me. It seemed much friendlier than UT.
3. Based on my GPA/LSAT score I feel like UVA lowballed me a bit with the $90K offer; I’ve tried to negotiate with them but they won’t budge. Should that be a factor in my decision?

Any advice you all might have would be GREATLY appreciated! Again, I’m new here so if I’ve left anything out or done something wrong please don’t hesitate to tell me and I’ll do my best to fix it!

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:26 pm

You want to work in TX and can go to UT for free? Go to UT.

Also, you could potentially have some other great offers with your stats. Did you blanket the t14? When did you submit your apps?

TXgal
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby TXgal » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:34 pm

OhBoyOhBortles wrote:You want to work in TX and can go to UT for free? Go to UT.

Also, you could potentially have some other great offers with your stats. Did you blanket the t14? When did you submit your apps?


I submitted my apps in January, which is late from what I can tell. I scored a 170 on the February 2015 LSAT. My earlier score was a 164 on the December 2014 LSAT. I didn't blanket the t14 because I didn't even know I was t14 material until March when I received my score. By then it was too late, all the apps were closed.

Do you think I should pull out and re-apply? Even with the UT full ride? I am vehemently opposed to living somewhere super cold, which I feel like eliminates a lot of the t14.

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Gray
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby Gray » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:38 pm

I don't really see how anything could top UT for free with your goals...

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:40 pm

Yeah, that's fair. Ignore my previous question. UT for free sounds perfect for your goals.

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chuckbass
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby chuckbass » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:43 pm

Gray wrote:I don't really see how anything could top UT for free with your goals...

Also I think you'll be more than happy at UT. Visiting can give you a sense of the culture of a school, but really once you make a group of friends that's all you need and you'll have a good time.

TXgal
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby TXgal » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:51 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:
Gray wrote:I don't really see how anything could top UT for free with your goals...

Also I think you'll be more than happy at UT. Visiting can give you a sense of the culture of a school, but really once you make a group of friends that's all you need and you'll have a good time.


Thanks, that's super encouraging to hear. I think you're right about that :D

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Clemenceau
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby Clemenceau » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:52 pm

UT for free sounds pretty good. Actually being from Austin will probably behoove you when looking for a job around there too. Bummer you didn't get a full ride at duke/uva with those bangin numbers tho

Traynor Brah
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby Traynor Brah » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:51 pm

I would take UT here without a second thought.

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TasmanianToucan
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby TasmanianToucan » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:03 pm

If you're sure you want to practice in TX, no place is better than UT except maybe Harvard. If you can go to UT for free, it's a no brainier.

TXgal
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:09 am

Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby TXgal » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:06 pm

Anyone want to make an argument for UVA? Or does the consensus seem to be UT?

I'm like 95% sure I want to stay in TX, but I suppose there is a risk management aspect to going to UVA if the Texas economy just tanks or something.

CanadianWolf
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:13 pm

I'll bet that $126,000 would make a substantial down payment on a home in Austin.

Since you want to live & work in Texas, UT makes more sense even if the COA were closer.

CanadianWolf
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:25 pm

Another very important factor to consider is the availability of internships & externships in Austin--the state capitol. These real world work experiences often lead to job offers or, at least, some great connections & recommendations.

sandwhich
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby sandwhich » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:34 pm

I highly doubt the Texas economy will "tank" any time soon. And if it did, wherever you'd end up from UVA would likely be in the same boat. That being said, the only argument I can see for UVA would be for specific career goals. Since you don't seem to have any particular goals in mind other than working in Texas, it doesn't seem like UVA would offer you anything besides prestige. Is that prestige worth $128k? Every single person on here will say no, yet people routinely turn down offers like yours for the intangibles that come with a more prestigious degree. Whether they made the right choice, however, is another matter. In the end it's your choice and you won't be screwed either way. Personally, if you don't have UG debt, that debt will be almost certainly manageable from UVA (assuming you don't end up at the bottom of the class, and maybe even then). But it's hard to justify turning down a full ride to the best school in the Texas region when you want to work in Texas IMO.

Traynor Brah
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby Traynor Brah » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:47 pm

TXgal wrote:Anyone want to make an argument for UVA? Or does the consensus seem to be UT?

I'm like 95% sure I want to stay in TX, but I suppose there is a risk management aspect to going to UVA if the Texas economy just tanks or something.

in the event of a recession, I would err on the side of not having 140K in debt.

TXgal
Posts: 24
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby TXgal » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:51 pm

sandwhich wrote:I highly doubt the Texas economy will "tank" any time soon. And if it did, wherever you'd end up from UVA would likely be in the same boat. That being said, the only argument I can see for UVA would be for specific career goals. Since you don't seem to have any particular goals in mind other than working in Texas, it doesn't seem like UVA would offer you anything besides prestige. Is that prestige worth $128k? Every single person on here will say no, yet people routinely turn down offers like yours for the intangibles that come with a more prestigious degree. Whether they made the right choice, however, is another matter. In the end it's your choice and you won't be screwed either way. Personally, if you don't have UG debt, that debt will be almost certainly manageable from UVA (assuming you don't end up at the bottom of the class, and maybe even then). But it's hard to justify turning down a full ride to the best school in the Texas region when you want to work in Texas IMO.


True, I think there is an intangible prestige factor that's difficult to account for. Could you (or someone else on here) elaborate a bit on the specific career goal opportunities I would be forgoing by going to UT? Besides working in the northeast?

I don't have any UG debt, if that makes any difference. And UVA would not be debt-financed. You're right though, it is a personal decision at the end of the day. I'm glad to know you don't think either one is a bad situation!

sandwhich
Posts: 400
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby sandwhich » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:10 pm

I was mainly thinking of geographic preference, Big Fed, and academia. All of which would be (at least somewhat) more obtainable from UVA.

TXgal
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby TXgal » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:13 pm

sandwhich wrote:I was mainly thinking of geographic preference, Big Fed, and academia. All of which would be (at least somewhat) more obtainable from UVA.


Ohhhh, okay, gotcha. Yeah that makes sense. Thanks!

timmyd
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby timmyd » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:54 pm

Congrats. I think I would take UT in this situation. First off, its a great school and its free for you. That's a pretty great deal. Second, you want to remain in Texas which just makes it all the more appealing because, for the most part, UT beats pretty much every school outside of HYS in Texas. You seem to have some concerns about missing out on some of the prestige benefits of Virginia. I guess I can see that, although I really don't think that Virginia is objectively much more prestigious than UT. Its employment numbers and clerkship numbers are better, but I think something like academia would be a stretch from either school. Also, while not quite to par with UVA, UT sends about half the class to fed clerk/big law. In my opinion, one of the best indicators of prestige within the legal community is seen through article three clerkships. UVA beats UT here, but UT still has an excellent clerkship program, routinely sending about 10% of the class in that direction, and I can tell you firsthand that number doesn't necessarily correlate to rank. Federal clerkships are not out of the question with top 20% grades. At any rate, congrats on your outcome and acceptances to some great schools.

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WeeBey
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby WeeBey » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:09 pm

Honestly, reapply. With a 4.0 170 and by submitting your apps in September, you looking at at least 1 T14 full ride.

Although, UT is great for texas, I doubt its better than any T14 with your ties. Not to mention, if you fall below median at a T14 you can still land NY biglaw and lateral to TX.

Either way, with a 4.0 170 UVa should be giving you a Dilliard.

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WeeBey
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby WeeBey » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:14 pm

Also, since your parents are willing to pay for it, and you seem willing to take them up on it, I imagine you're rather well off and it wouldnt be a burden. If that's the case, go to UVa.

TXgal
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:09 am

Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby TXgal » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:11 pm

timmyd wrote:Congrats. I think I would take UT in this situation. First off, its a great school and its free for you. That's a pretty great deal. Second, you want to remain in Texas which just makes it all the more appealing because, for the most part, UT beats pretty much every school outside of HYS in Texas. You seem to have some concerns about missing out on some of the prestige benefits of Virginia. I guess I can see that, although I really don't think that Virginia is objectively much more prestigious than UT. Its employment numbers and clerkship numbers are better, but I think something like academia would be a stretch from either school. Also, while not quite to par with UVA, UT sends about half the class to fed clerk/big law. In my opinion, one of the best indicators of prestige within the legal community is seen through article three clerkships. UVA beats UT here, but UT still has an excellent clerkship program, routinely sending about 10% of the class in that direction, and I can tell you firsthand that number doesn't necessarily correlate to rank. Federal clerkships are not out of the question with top 20% grades. At any rate, congrats on your outcome and acceptances to some great schools.


Thanks for the input! I did see that UT's clerkship numbers are really great when I was looking up employment stats. That's definitely something to account for.

TXgal
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby TXgal » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:15 pm

WeeBey wrote:Also, since your parents are willing to pay for it, and you seem willing to take them up on it, I imagine you're rather well off and it wouldnt be a burden. If that's the case, go to UVa.


My parents had saved up money for my undergrad, but I didn't end up using it all since I went to school on the cheap. I can use the money for UVA or they will just give it to me, either way. I could use it as a down payment on a house sometime in the future, as someone mentioned earlier.

TXgal
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:09 am

Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby TXgal » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:24 am

Just withdrew from the UVA offer - thanks, guys, for giving me the confidence to go forward with Texas! Y'all are the best for helping me out like this.

envisciguy
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Re: UVA vs. UT

Postby envisciguy » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:28 am

TXgal wrote:
Other misc. info:
1. Employment concerns: I’m concerned about getting back to TX from UVA. Can anyone speak to the OGI process at UVA for people trying to get jobs in TX? Are callbacks more stressful coming from VA to TX? It seems like trying to fly back and forth from TX to VA would eat up a TON of time (as opposed to simply driving from Austin to Houston). Is Texas biglaw pretty much dominated by UT, or do UVA students do well here? Do employers dig deeper into UVA’s graduating class, or are UVA students viewed pretty much the same as UT students? Would a UVA student be at a disadvantage for networking purposes since they didn’t go to school here in TX?
2. General quality of life: I toured both schools this spring; I LOVED UVA and felt so-so about UT. I personally think UVA would be a much better fit for me. It seemed much friendlier than UT.
3. Based on my GPA/LSAT score I feel like UVA lowballed me a bit with the $90K offer; I’ve tried to negotiate with them but they won’t budge. Should that be a factor in my decision?


I can comment on 1 and 2 based on personal experience as a recent UVA grad going to work in Houston.

1. It's fairly easy to get to TX from UVA. There are people at UVA who get jobs there with absolutely no ties to TX, so the fact that you've got solid ties would make it even easier. It doesn't take up all that much time with interviews - you do all the screeners at UVA and then fly out for callbacks, but you can arrange those strategically to reduce lost time. For example, I spent 3 straight days in Houston doing callbacks, so there was no flying back and forth. Texas biglaw has proportionally a much larger number of UT students, but UVA is pretty well represented and they absolutely go deeper into the class. My summer class at one of the big 3 Houston firms had a huge number of UT students, but all of them were on law review. There were a couple of us from UVA and none were on law review. Anecdotally, one of my friends who went to UT undergrad and came to UVA for law school told me the reason she came to UVA was because a number of TX attorneys told her that they would go much deeper into the class. And I know a number of Texans who were probably around median in the UVA class and are now working at biglaw firms in Houston and Dallas.

2. Can't comment on the UT culture, but everyone I've met from UT law seems pretty cool. From what I've heard the cultures seem a similar. I loved UVA though and think it's a great place to be.

3. Things have probably changed since I was applying to law school, but I had virtually the same stats and was offered the same amount of money from UVA.

$126k is a lot of money and you really can't go wrong with UT for free, but I do think that UVA offers more opportunities. If your parents are paying for it and it wouldn't burden them economically to do so, I'd go UVA.

If you have any questions, you can feel free to PM me.

Edit: Well, I guess I was just a few minutes too late. Enjoy UT!




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