Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

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collapsingstar

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Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby collapsingstar » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:05 pm

Help please? I applied to way too many schools throughout the midwest and south and feel overwhelmed, but I’ve narrowed it to these main four. I’d like to live and work in Nashville long term, as it’s the closest city to where my family lives on the KY/TN border. No lawyers in my family, and minimal ties that would actually help me land a job there though. I currently live in Chicago, and I'd like to have a decent chance at moving back if my fiancé can’t stand living anywhere else. So job prospects beyond the immediate region are very important to me, which I’m guessing pretty directly weighs against my aversion to debt. I’m leaning towards civil litigation or criminal law, but ultimately keeping an open mind about specialties.

My offers:
-University of Louisville: $0k/year (no strings)
-University of Alabama: $12k/year (could reduce to $5k for 2-3L if I get in-state status)
-University of Georgia: $12k/year (could increase to $30k if I don’t get in-state status)
-Emory: $17k/year

This only accounts for tuition. COL doesn’t really factor in for me, as my fiancé is moving with me and would make proportionally more in more expensive locations. He’s fine with following me anywhere and supporting us while I’m in school (and then ideally he won’t have to work once I start working). All offers are low enough to rely on federal loans for tuition, so my debt wouldn’t be totally crushing, probably? The option of going to Louisville for free and taking my chances in the job market is tempting though.

I haven’t heard from Vanderbilt or UTKnoxville yet. I have visits scheduled for all four of the above listed, which will hopefully help me differentiate and feel out the best fit. I’m wondering what people here think about relative quality of education and experience at each, and whether the higher price tag for Emory would be worth it, especially.

My UGPA from Northwestern is 3.1 and LSAT is 166, taken twice. I’m in a non-professional job during my gap year and set on attending this fall.

dn2017

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby dn2017 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:41 pm

These are very different schools

DowsingForAJD

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby DowsingForAJD » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:49 pm

This forum has been really quiet lately so I'm not sure you'll find much help here. I'm a 0L so I don't really feel qualified to help you work through this but I encourage you to check out other websites that may be a little more active (like top-law-schools.com)

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deadpanic

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby deadpanic » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:34 am

The education is going to be the same at pretty much all of these law schools. The feel/fit is really not that important for law school.

None of those are particularly great for Nashville as you probably already know.

Wait until you hear from UT although I'm not sure they are as generous with $$ as Bama, UGA and Louisville.

UGA and Bama are both okay for that price, but do not fit your geographic goals. They are also larger college towns with not much employment for your fiance. I'm sure the top students have a shot at BigLaw in Atlanta, Birmingham, or even Nashville, but the odds are not good at all. It is likely the same for Emory, maybe just slightly better.

Louisville for free is a good deal, but you need to be okay with working in Louisville.

If you get into Vandy, you are likely looking at 6 figures of debt and that is not worth it.

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:49 pm

Georgia & Alabama are both excellent law schools, as is Emory.

Unfamiliar with Louisville, but like the price.

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deadpanic

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby deadpanic » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:15 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Georgia & Alabama are both excellent law schools, as is Emory.


Be cautious with this advice. They are excellent law schools if you want to work in their respective states. Louisville is just as "excellent" as UGA or Bama if OP wanted to work in Louisville.

However, OP has no ties to Georgia or Alabama and a desire to practice in Nashville. For that reason, these are not excellent schools to consider.

So, let's just say you attend Bama gunning for Nashville. Check how few Summer Associate slots are open and the offer rates. Check with each school and see what firms come to OCI from Nashville.

These are your potential outcomes:

1. You end up in the top 5-10% of students and are 1 or the few students that receive a SA position at a large law firm in Nashville. You are also going up against T-14 students, Vandy, Memphis, UT, other similar SEC schools, and others. Least likely outcome. I would include federal clerkships here.

2. You intern every single summer at the DA/PD in Nashville for free and hope they have a slot open after you pass the Tennessee bar in 3 years. Will take a lot of luck and will have to be fully committed to PI your entire time in law school.

3. You intern for a small firm in the area that gives you an offer after taking the bar in a few years that pays little (or maybe just is an "eat what you kill type place). You are also going up against Nashville SOL grads (not accredited, but small firm alums are abundant from this school in the area), Belmont (new, but respected institution there), UTenn, Vandy, etc.

The schools are mostly fine at that price point, just not good or likely for Nashville.

Your best option is Vandy at around 60ishk COA or UT at around 40ishk COA. I just don't think Vandy is going to be possible for that price with your numbers.

Best of luck! Nashville is awesome, but highly competitive because of how awesome it is with a relatively small legal market for its size. Kind of similar to Austin.

collapsingstar

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby collapsingstar » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:33 pm

Thanks, I really appreciate the advice here. I know Vandy is out of my reach, so hopefully UT will hurry up and get back to me. I’m also accepted to Memphis, but with minimal scholarship despite being well above their numbers (only $ was reduction to in-state, so 19k/year). Should I try to negotiate with them? Would it make more sense to go to an unranked school in the state where I want to practice than to take one of my other options?

I’m also not opposed to working in Atlanta for ~5 years and moving to Nashville later if I can land another job. Is that at all realistic?

deadpanic wrote:Best of luck! Nashville is awesome, but highly competitive because of how awesome it is with a relatively small legal market for its size. Kind of similar to Austin.


Agreed! It’s a wonderful place, and hopefully my personal ties will count for something when I’m job hunting. While I’m not directly related to any lawyers, I am starting to hear from family members about their connections, so my ties might not be totally useless for internship opportunities, maybe. Also hoping the legal market there grows in the next few years, as long as the city keeps its current pace.

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby beinghuman » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:22 am

I'd say figure your life out first. None of these schools has a national reach so you will be, to various degrees, geographically limited.
Vandy would be a much better choice, although it does not guarantee you much either.

collapsingstar wrote:Help please? I applied to way too many schools throughout the midwest and south and feel overwhelmed, but I’ve narrowed it to these main four. I’d like to live and work in Nashville long term, as it’s the closest city to where my family lives on the KY/TN border. No lawyers in my family, and minimal ties that would actually help me land a job there though. I currently live in Chicago, and I'd like to have a decent chance at moving back if my fiancé can’t stand living anywhere else. So job prospects beyond the immediate region are very important to me, which I’m guessing pretty directly weighs against my aversion to debt. I’m leaning towards civil litigation or criminal law, but ultimately keeping an open mind about specialties.

My offers:
-University of Louisville: $0k/year (no strings)
-University of Alabama: $12k/year (could reduce to $5k for 2-3L if I get in-state status)
-University of Georgia: $12k/year (could increase to $30k if I don’t get in-state status)
-Emory: $17k/year

This only accounts for tuition. COL doesn’t really factor in for me, as my fiancé is moving with me and would make proportionally more in more expensive locations. He’s fine with following me anywhere and supporting us while I’m in school (and then ideally he won’t have to work once I start working). All offers are low enough to rely on federal loans for tuition, so my debt wouldn’t be totally crushing, probably? The option of going to Louisville for free and taking my chances in the job market is tempting though.

I haven’t heard from Vanderbilt or UTKnoxville yet. I have visits scheduled for all four of the above listed, which will hopefully help me differentiate and feel out the best fit. I’m wondering what people here think about relative quality of education and experience at each, and whether the higher price tag for Emory would be worth it, especially.

My UGPA from Northwestern is 3.1 and LSAT is 166, taken twice. I’m in a non-professional job during my gap year and set on attending this fall.

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deadpanic

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby deadpanic » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:21 pm

collapsingstar wrote:Thanks, I really appreciate the advice here. I know Vandy is out of my reach, so hopefully UT will hurry up and get back to me. I’m also accepted to Memphis, but with minimal scholarship despite being well above their numbers (only $ was reduction to in-state, so 19k/year). Should I try to negotiate with them? Would it make more sense to go to an unranked school in the state where I want to practice than to take one of my other options?

I’m also not opposed to working in Atlanta for ~5 years and moving to Nashville later if I can land another job. Is that at all realistic?

deadpanic wrote:Best of luck! Nashville is awesome, but highly competitive because of how awesome it is with a relatively small legal market for its size. Kind of similar to Austin.


Agreed! It’s a wonderful place, and hopefully my personal ties will count for something when I’m job hunting. While I’m not directly related to any lawyers, I am starting to hear from family members about their connections, so my ties might not be totally useless for internship opportunities, maybe. Also hoping the legal market there grows in the next few years, as long as the city keeps its current pace.


If you are okay with working in Atlanta then I would say UGA or Emory. I think they are basically peer schools, but your fiance will obviously have much better employment opportunities in Atlanta than Athens so I would say that may be worth the extra 5k/year.

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deadpanic

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby deadpanic » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:22 pm

Oh, and I would not bother negotiating with Memphis. They do not give out much money and most grads work in Memphis or West TN. Any of the few firms coming to OCI there will likely keep you in Memphis.

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:59 pm

Alabama & Georgia are outstanding law schools for COA you quoted.

Alabama $12,000 for the first year, reduced to $5,000 per year when residency is granted.

Georgia at $12,000 per year is also outstanding.

Neither degree will limit job prospects to their respective states.

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby BigTex1980 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:00 pm

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deadpanic

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby deadpanic » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:10 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Neither degree will limit job prospects to their respective states.


I disagree. Of course it is possible that you can work out of state, particularly if you are at the top of your class or have super good connections to where you want to work, but you can't bank on the former and OP has indicated the latter is not the case.

I am not saying do not attend or they are not good options, but I think CW is being overly confident here in the portability of 2 SEC state schools.

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Dawg57

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby Dawg57 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:38 pm

I am just speculating but given your numbers and offers from what would be considered competitor schools, I would expect your package from UT will be fair. Also, negotiating using your other offers would be wise considering UTK and its students compete fairly directly with students at these schools for OCI spots and jobs with firms in Kentucky, TN (obv) and Atlanta and Birmingham. So at least in UT's eyes your current offers could be motivation to entice you to come to Knoxville. Just food for thought. And if being in Middle TN is your primary goal you will want to be at UTK or Vandy stictly froma numbers game stand point and given your situation I think the incredible increase in cost at Vandy would not be outweighed by the improved job prospects, although they would be markedly better than UT. At a minimum the top 20-25% at UT have clear success in Nashville and every major Nashville firm that does OCI's comes to UT.

This is all meant to lead to the fact that with these regional schools, they will basically compete in this manner:

at Bama: of the 'successful" students, maybe 70% of them end up in Bama (BHam, Tuscaloosa, etc.) working for regionally desirable firms. with then 20% maybe up in Nashville, 10-15% in Atlanta and so on (loosely interpreted)

That formula is the same in regard to UGA and student success in-state versus TN or in Bama

And it is the same for UTK.

So, while I have drastically over simplified it. This is the nature of the numbers game. Of course if you are going to be top 10% then any of these schools will provide enough doors for you to open one and maybe find what you want. But if you very clearly want to be in Middle TN working at a firm next summer and when you graduate, you will best be in the normal pipeline at a school in TN when you inevitably fall into the 90% of students that just "knew" they would be in the top 10 percent in law school. Regional differentiation and year-over-year pipelines in each state for SA's is just the name of the game in the good ole legal market of the deep south

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby collapsingstar » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:38 pm

Alabama would cost less than expected, as I could get in-state tuition after the first semester because of some special circumstances. I had an encouraging conversation with their career services about Nashville firms recruiting on campus and generally having solid placement in Tennessee. Also had some conversations with my fiancé about his career goals moving forward, and working in UA's administration would be a solid move for him to gain relevant experience, which makes Tuscaloosa more feasible than it seemed initially.

I heard back from UT Knoxville, it would be about $10k/year. Doesn't seem worth it to me, and at this point I can't afford the time off for another trip to visit. My trip to Atlanta convinced me that I'm not actually open to ending up there long term, so Emory and UGA make less sense. So unless by some miracle I get into Vanderbilt with money... Roll tide! It's definitely not the choice I thought I'd make when I started this process, but I feel pretty good about committing to Alabama.

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Re: Emory vs UGA vs Alabama vs Louisville vs figuring my life out

Postby harveybirdman101 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:34 pm

Don't go to Louisville. $$ is tempting but I would really caution against that decision. I get the impression that no one who goes to law school here leaves the city, which is kind of a dump. Biased because I grew up there.



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