HELP! BU (20k per/yr) vs WF (full ride)

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UVA2B

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Re: HELP! BU (20k per/yr) vs WF (full ride)

Postby UVA2B » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:06 am

AT9 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
mj33 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
mj33 wrote:I feel like I haven't made myself clear enough. I'm not big law or bust. I meant I could see myself in a big law firm in one of these cities, but I didn't say it was necessarily a goal of mine. I genuinely do not know what I want to do after law school, and I think that's completely normal. And I would come out of WF with absolutely no debt, so I also don't understand why it's a risky decision from a financial perspective.

I really am just trying to understand why there's a perception that law school is all that matters when it comes to being a successful attorney.


Ok, well your initial response post mentioned being comfortable in Boston or Charlotte Biglaw, which is likely why everyone is keying on that. And you're right that most incoming law students don't know specifically what they want to do, and there is little harm in that in a vacuum. And coming out of a law school without debt (haven't reread the thread, assuming you have cost of living paid for by something other than loans) is absolutely desirable.

Assuming you'd be comfortable to be a small firm attorney or DA/PD in NC, WF with zero debt is a very desirable option. Even if you're comfortable with those outcomes while wanting Charlotte biglaw, I think you can justify the decision. It becomes a problem only if you're uncomfortable with making significantly less doing less complex legal work* because you missed out on the target market Biglaw.

Success is all relative, but traditionally we gauge success by compensation compared to debt, and the most likely outcome at BU or WF won't be competitive with biglaw salaries. If you define success differently, then obviously your calculus is different.

*ETA: PD/DA work can be absolutely complex, didn't mean to lump small firm work in with PD/DA beyond them being likely outcomes


Right, I definitely should have been more clear. I apologize for that.

I agree with everything you've said, especially about success being relative. I think my definition of success is different than others' opinions on here, and that's totally okay. I just wasn't expecting the reactions I got tbh.

That being said, I would be completely happy with working in a smaller-type firm, especially coming out of law school with no debt. But I would also be happy in mid-law and big-law firms... I just want to be a practicing attorney. I know I have a lot to think about and consider, so I guess it's hard to give advice when I'm being vague about my goals.

Thank you again for the clarifying response.


I mean this in the most deferential way possible: you seem to be justifying going to WF. That's not bad, but it's just the overarching theme I get in reading your responses. If you're comfortable ending up in NC with a modest outcome, WF is great. Being from FL should give some pause (as point of reference, I met a WF Law grad working as a bartender in VA not too long ago. It's anecdotal, but should give some pause about being from outside NC looking for work in the area). But WF for free (previous caveats about cost of living still applying) seems reasonable if you're comfortable with the likely outcomes from WF.


I agree with almost everything UVA is saying, but I'll just counter the out of state bit by saying that a majority of WF students are from out of state (a lot, including me, from Florida), yet most still find decent jobs as lawyers. You're absolutely right that NC is ties-sensitive so it's worth considering, but plenty of out of state students find employment either in NC or their home states.


Yeah, that was poor anecdotal information, it just struck me being served by a recent graduate still looking for legal work in an adjacent state. You're remarkably more reliable for what it's like as an out-of-state student about the job market for a WF grad.

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Re: HELP! BU (20k per/yr) vs WF (full ride)

Postby mj33 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:09 am

UVA2B wrote:
mj33 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
mj33 wrote:I feel like I haven't made myself clear enough. I'm not big law or bust. I meant I could see myself in a big law firm in one of these cities, but I didn't say it was necessarily a goal of mine. I genuinely do not know what I want to do after law school, and I think that's completely normal. And I would come out of WF with absolutely no debt, so I also don't understand why it's a risky decision from a financial perspective.

I really am just trying to understand why there's a perception that law school is all that matters when it comes to being a successful attorney.


Ok, well your initial response post mentioned being comfortable in Boston or Charlotte Biglaw, which is likely why everyone is keying on that. And you're right that most incoming law students don't know specifically what they want to do, and there is little harm in that in a vacuum. And coming out of a law school without debt (haven't reread the thread, assuming you have cost of living paid for by something other than loans) is absolutely desirable.

Assuming you'd be comfortable to be a small firm attorney or DA/PD in NC, WF with zero debt is a very desirable option. Even if you're comfortable with those outcomes while wanting Charlotte biglaw, I think you can justify the decision. It becomes a problem only if you're uncomfortable with making significantly less doing less complex legal work* because you missed out on the target market Biglaw.

Success is all relative, but traditionally we gauge success by compensation compared to debt, and the most likely outcome at BU or WF won't be competitive with biglaw salaries. If you define success differently, then obviously your calculus is different.

*ETA: PD/DA work can be absolutely complex, didn't mean to lump small firm work in with PD/DA beyond them being likely outcomes


Right, I definitely should have been more clear. I apologize for that.

I agree with everything you've said, especially about success being relative. I think my definition of success is different than others' opinions on here, and that's totally okay. I just wasn't expecting the reactions I got tbh.

That being said, I would be completely happy with working in a smaller-type firm, especially coming out of law school with no debt. But I would also be happy in mid-law and big-law firms... I just want to be a practicing attorney. I know I have a lot to think about and consider, so I guess it's hard to give advice when I'm being vague about my goals.

Thank you again for the clarifying response.


I mean this in the most deferential way possible: you seem to be justifying going to WF. That's not bad, but it's just the overarching theme I get in reading your responses. If you're comfortable ending up in NC with a modest outcome, WF is great. Being from FL should give some pause (as point of reference, I met a WF Law grad working as a bartender in VA not too long ago. It's anecdotal, but should give some pause about being from outside NC looking for work in the area). But WF for free (previous caveats about cost of living still applying) seems reasonable if you're comfortable with the likely outcomes from WF.


I appreciate that, and I do catch myself trying to justify WF. And yeah, I won't have to take out any loans because I have money saved up from working for two years, and it will cover COL in Winston-Salem for three years. I actually visited the school today, and they told me that 70% of their incoming class is from out of state, and only 53% actually stay and practice in NC. That was really appealing to me since I don't know where I want to end up, but it's concerning that I'm hearing something different on this thread. I was under the impression that the degree travels well, but maybe that's not the case.

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AT9

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Re: HELP! BU (20k per/yr) vs WF (full ride)

Postby AT9 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:12 am

UVA2B wrote:
AT9 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
mj33 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
mj33 wrote:I feel like I haven't made myself clear enough. I'm not big law or bust. I meant I could see myself in a big law firm in one of these cities, but I didn't say it was necessarily a goal of mine. I genuinely do not know what I want to do after law school, and I think that's completely normal. And I would come out of WF with absolutely no debt, so I also don't understand why it's a risky decision from a financial perspective.

I really am just trying to understand why there's a perception that law school is all that matters when it comes to being a successful attorney.


Ok, well your initial response post mentioned being comfortable in Boston or Charlotte Biglaw, which is likely why everyone is keying on that. And you're right that most incoming law students don't know specifically what they want to do, and there is little harm in that in a vacuum. And coming out of a law school without debt (haven't reread the thread, assuming you have cost of living paid for by something other than loans) is absolutely desirable.

Assuming you'd be comfortable to be a small firm attorney or DA/PD in NC, WF with zero debt is a very desirable option. Even if you're comfortable with those outcomes while wanting Charlotte biglaw, I think you can justify the decision. It becomes a problem only if you're uncomfortable with making significantly less doing less complex legal work* because you missed out on the target market Biglaw.

Success is all relative, but traditionally we gauge success by compensation compared to debt, and the most likely outcome at BU or WF won't be competitive with biglaw salaries. If you define success differently, then obviously your calculus is different.

*ETA: PD/DA work can be absolutely complex, didn't mean to lump small firm work in with PD/DA beyond them being likely outcomes


Right, I definitely should have been more clear. I apologize for that.

I agree with everything you've said, especially about success being relative. I think my definition of success is different than others' opinions on here, and that's totally okay. I just wasn't expecting the reactions I got tbh.

That being said, I would be completely happy with working in a smaller-type firm, especially coming out of law school with no debt. But I would also be happy in mid-law and big-law firms... I just want to be a practicing attorney. I know I have a lot to think about and consider, so I guess it's hard to give advice when I'm being vague about my goals.

Thank you again for the clarifying response.


I mean this in the most deferential way possible: you seem to be justifying going to WF. That's not bad, but it's just the overarching theme I get in reading your responses. If you're comfortable ending up in NC with a modest outcome, WF is great. Being from FL should give some pause (as point of reference, I met a WF Law grad working as a bartender in VA not too long ago. It's anecdotal, but should give some pause about being from outside NC looking for work in the area). But WF for free (previous caveats about cost of living still applying) seems reasonable if you're comfortable with the likely outcomes from WF.


I agree with almost everything UVA is saying, but I'll just counter the out of state bit by saying that a majority of WF students are from out of state (a lot, including me, from Florida), yet most still find decent jobs as lawyers. You're absolutely right that NC is ties-sensitive so it's worth considering, but plenty of out of state students find employment either in NC or their home states.


Yeah, that was poor anecdotal information, it just struck me being served by a recent graduate still looking for legal work in an adjacent state. You're remarkably more reliable for what it's like as an out-of-state student about the job market for a WF grad.


Maybe we can track him down in the vale.

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UVA2B

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Re: HELP! BU (20k per/yr) vs WF (full ride)

Postby UVA2B » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:22 am

AT9 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
AT9 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
mj33 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
mj33 wrote:I feel like I haven't made myself clear enough. I'm not big law or bust. I meant I could see myself in a big law firm in one of these cities, but I didn't say it was necessarily a goal of mine. I genuinely do not know what I want to do after law school, and I think that's completely normal. And I would come out of WF with absolutely no debt, so I also don't understand why it's a risky decision from a financial perspective.

I really am just trying to understand why there's a perception that law school is all that matters when it comes to being a successful attorney.


Ok, well your initial response post mentioned being comfortable in Boston or Charlotte Biglaw, which is likely why everyone is keying on that. And you're right that most incoming law students don't know specifically what they want to do, and there is little harm in that in a vacuum. And coming out of a law school without debt (haven't reread the thread, assuming you have cost of living paid for by something other than loans) is absolutely desirable.

Assuming you'd be comfortable to be a small firm attorney or DA/PD in NC, WF with zero debt is a very desirable option. Even if you're comfortable with those outcomes while wanting Charlotte biglaw, I think you can justify the decision. It becomes a problem only if you're uncomfortable with making significantly less doing less complex legal work* because you missed out on the target market Biglaw.

Success is all relative, but traditionally we gauge success by compensation compared to debt, and the most likely outcome at BU or WF won't be competitive with biglaw salaries. If you define success differently, then obviously your calculus is different.

*ETA: PD/DA work can be absolutely complex, didn't mean to lump small firm work in with PD/DA beyond them being likely outcomes


Right, I definitely should have been more clear. I apologize for that.

I agree with everything you've said, especially about success being relative. I think my definition of success is different than others' opinions on here, and that's totally okay. I just wasn't expecting the reactions I got tbh.

That being said, I would be completely happy with working in a smaller-type firm, especially coming out of law school with no debt. But I would also be happy in mid-law and big-law firms... I just want to be a practicing attorney. I know I have a lot to think about and consider, so I guess it's hard to give advice when I'm being vague about my goals.

Thank you again for the clarifying response.


I mean this in the most deferential way possible: you seem to be justifying going to WF. That's not bad, but it's just the overarching theme I get in reading your responses. If you're comfortable ending up in NC with a modest outcome, WF is great. Being from FL should give some pause (as point of reference, I met a WF Law grad working as a bartender in VA not too long ago. It's anecdotal, but should give some pause about being from outside NC looking for work in the area). But WF for free (previous caveats about cost of living still applying) seems reasonable if you're comfortable with the likely outcomes from WF.


I agree with almost everything UVA is saying, but I'll just counter the out of state bit by saying that a majority of WF students are from out of state (a lot, including me, from Florida), yet most still find decent jobs as lawyers. You're absolutely right that NC is ties-sensitive so it's worth considering, but plenty of out of state students find employment either in NC or their home states.


Yeah, that was poor anecdotal information, it just struck me being served by a recent graduate still looking for legal work in an adjacent state. You're remarkably more reliable for what it's like as an out-of-state student about the job market for a WF grad.


Maybe we can track him down in the vale.


Moribund joke, but I pray he never discovered TLS, impeding his awareness of the realities of legal hiring.

cavalier1138

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Re: HELP! BU (20k per/yr) vs WF (full ride)

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:49 am

The issue here is that if you don't know what you want to do, both of these schools will make that decision for you (WF to a greater degree than BU).

Despite what some aging attorneys are telling you, the more competitive legal jobs absolutely care about where you went to school. Someone with median grades at Columbia can sleepwalk into biglaw. Someone with median grades at WF will not even get a foot in the door. And there will be similar outcomes for federal government, clerkships, etc.

OP, do you have at least a vague idea of what kind of career/salary you want after law school? No debt out of WF is great, but if you don't have any job opportunities in the fields you're interested in after graduation, you're probably not going to be too happy with how you spent the last three years.



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