Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
SidV101

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby SidV101 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:07 pm

Those numbers are the 'total of all payments' using the sticky'd spreadsheet and a 10 year loan repayment plan.

That's a big debt increase, but LST says WUSTL puts 41.2% of grads into large firms vs. only 13.1% for Alabama grads. Alabama makes up the gap a little bit with 6.3% more federal clerkships. I don't know what kind of law I want to go into. It wouldn't kill me to work in either region, but I like the increased regional flexibility WUSTL offers; I'm from Seattle and I'd like to move back here eventually - or sooner, if possible.

I noticed on Alabama's ABA employment summary that only 66/133 grads are employed in Alabama, does that mean UA has a good track record at placing people in jobs out of state? Their number 2 state for job placement is Georgia with 10/133, and I like Atlanta. Seattle would be even better though :)



Sidenotes: my LSAT score is not going to increase, don't tell me to retake it (I scored 161, 162, and 168 over the course of 3 years of studying/taking the darn thing). I have a good friend who will probably have a job in Seattle by the time I graduate (he's a 3L at the University of Washington right now with good grades). I have no previous legal work experience. I haven't heard back from Northwestern yet, and I'm currently waitlisted at UVA and UCLA. My current job pays $15/hr with good benefits but little prospect for pay raises (so making $60k and paying $14k a year in loans would be a raise for me). I have a largely useless political science undergrad degree. Yes, I applied to UW Law and no, their offer wasn't even remotely worth considering ($80k just for tuition)

sparkytrainer

Silver
Posts: 805
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:32 am

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby sparkytrainer » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:52 pm

I wont get into much detail, but it sounds like you want to be in Seattle. Either you go to UW or a t13 for Seattle. Anything else and you wont be getting Seattle. Its pretty cut and dry.

SidV101

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby SidV101 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:08 am

sparkytrainer wrote:I wont get into much detail, but it sounds like you want to be in Seattle. Either you go to UW or a t13 for Seattle. Anything else and you wont be getting Seattle. Its pretty cut and dry.


Less than 30% of WUSTL grads work in Missouri, doesn’t that mean they have national reach? Also I could live with not coming back to Seattle. You’re reading a bit too much into that, I just wanted to point out that a university with national reach has extra value to me.

Edit: to put it another way: I’d rather live wealthy in Birmingham or comfortably in Atlanta than poor in Seattle.

sparkytrainer

Silver
Posts: 805
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:32 am

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby sparkytrainer » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:45 am

SidV101 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:I wont get into much detail, but it sounds like you want to be in Seattle. Either you go to UW or a t13 for Seattle. Anything else and you wont be getting Seattle. Its pretty cut and dry.


Less than 30% of WUSTL grads work in Missouri, doesn’t that mean they have national reach? Also I could live with not coming back to Seattle. You’re reading a bit too much into that, I just wanted to point out that a university with national reach has extra value to me.

Edit: to put it another way: I’d rather live wealthy in Birmingham or comfortably in Atlanta than poor in Seattle.



https://www.lstreports.com/schools/washu/jobs/location/

Not a single reported person who got back Seattle. Missouri and neighboring Illinois make up 50% of the class. NY another 14%, and a bunch unreported. Guess what is in that unreported number? All the people who didn't get legal jobs.

You shouldn't be even considering Alabama. If you have no ties there already, you are going to really struggle getting a job in that state. Same with Atlanta. People at my t13 who were born and raised in Alabama and Atlanta all struggled to get back.

If you want national reach, you gotta go to a t13. That is the start and end of that convo. There is a reason there is a tier of law schools specifically for their national reach. Because you haven't gotten into a school that gives you that, you are going to need to retake so you can get into a t13. Its that simple.

User avatar
Ramius

Gold
Posts: 2019
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:39 am

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby Ramius » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:50 am

SidV101 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:I wont get into much detail, but it sounds like you want to be in Seattle. Either you go to UW or a t13 for Seattle. Anything else and you wont be getting Seattle. Its pretty cut and dry.


Less than 30% of WUSTL grads work in Missouri, doesn’t that mean they have national reach? Also I could live with not coming back to Seattle. You’re reading a bit too much into that, I just wanted to point out that a university with national reach has extra value to me.

Edit: to put it another way: I’d rather live wealthy in Birmingham or comfortably in Atlanta than poor in Seattle.


Just because WUSTL grads aren't placing in STL doesn't mean they're necessarily placing nationally.

Google is your friend, and there are better places to seek this kind of advice. TLS is a wasteland.

SidV101

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby SidV101 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:18 am

sparkytrainer wrote:Not a single reported person who got back Seattle. Missouri and neighboring Illinois make up 50% of the class. NY another 14%, and a bunch unreported. Guess what is in that unreported number? All the people who didn't get legal jobs.

You shouldn't be even considering Alabama. If you have no ties there already, you are going to really struggle getting a job in that state. Same with Atlanta. People at my t13 who were born and raised in Alabama and Atlanta all struggled to get back.


Okay, thanks for the input. Looks like I was mistaken in thinking either school could get me a job in Seattle. That's okay. I'd really like to question that second assertion though - that if I have to ties in Alabama, I'd struggle to get a job in the state. Wouldn't I be able to create those ties while I'm in law school? I'd probably be in the top third of my class. I've already made a good friend and a potential girlfriend (who are both locals) from a two day campus visit. I'm a bit of a teacher's pet and would be spending a lot of time with the professors. How hard would it be to create those local law connections?

sparkytrainer

Silver
Posts: 805
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:32 am

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby sparkytrainer » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:35 am

SidV101 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:Not a single reported person who got back Seattle. Missouri and neighboring Illinois make up 50% of the class. NY another 14%, and a bunch unreported. Guess what is in that unreported number? All the people who didn't get legal jobs.

You shouldn't be even considering Alabama. If you have no ties there already, you are going to really struggle getting a job in that state. Same with Atlanta. People at my t13 who were born and raised in Alabama and Atlanta all struggled to get back.


Okay, thanks for the input. Looks like I was mistaken in thinking either school could get me a job in Seattle. That's okay. I'd really like to question that second assertion though - that if I have to ties in Alabama, I'd struggle to get a job in the state. Wouldn't I be able to create those ties while I'm in law school? I'd probably be in the top third of my class. I've already made a good friend and a potential girlfriend (who are both locals) from a two day campus visit. I'm a bit of a teacher's pet and would be spending a lot of time with the professors. How hard would it be to create those local law connections?


Its actually really hard to create ties to markets like Alabama and Atlanta. I am telling you with direct knowledge it is much harder than you think.

SidV101

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby SidV101 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:55 am

sparkytrainer wrote:Its actually really hard to create ties to markets like Alabama and Atlanta. I am telling you with direct knowledge it is much harder than you think.


Do you/does anyone reading this know if it’s any easier to create those ties in Tallahassee? FSU offered me a full ride + $5k/yr stipend that I had ruled out because their job placement into large firms and clerkships was so much lower than Alabama and WUSTL. But if I’m going to struggle to get any job in Alabama/Atlanta maybe I should go for the school where I’d graduate with no debt (I also have $35k saved up and I figure I’ll be able to make another $20k working during 2L summer and maybe during the 2L and 3L year as well).

sparkytrainer

Silver
Posts: 805
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:32 am

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby sparkytrainer » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:15 am

SidV101 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:Its actually really hard to create ties to markets like Alabama and Atlanta. I am telling you with direct knowledge it is much harder than you think.


Do you/does anyone reading this know if it’s any easier to create those ties in Tallahassee? FSU offered me a full ride + $5k/yr stipend that I had ruled out because their job placement into large firms and clerkships was so much lower than Alabama and WUSTL. But if I’m going to struggle to get any job in Alabama/Atlanta maybe I should go for the school where I’d graduate with no debt (I also have $35k saved up and I figure I’ll be able to make another $20k working during 2L summer and maybe during the 2L and 3L year as well).


I don't think you have figured this out yet, so I will repeat. There are 13 schools with national placement. That is it. If you want to go to a regional school, which all the above choices are, the first, second, and third crack at jobs will go to people with ties to that market. Did you know for every 2 law students graduating, there is only 1 job available?

With FSU specifically, over 25% of their graduates dont ever find work as lawyers. The people who go to FSU are generally people from Florida and are looking to work in local/state government. Guess who makes up a good portion of that 25% who wont get jobs? The out of state people with no ties that cannot compellingly answer why you want to work in local florida government and get paid 40-50k a year. The median salary out of FSU, if you are lucky enough to get a job, is 50k a year.

Listen, I appreciate your desire not wanting to retake. I didn't want to either. I went from options similar to yours and butting my head against the wall with reality and finally decided to retake for another time (had previously taken it a bunch). I crushed that score, getting my legal education paid for by Duke/UVA purely because I got another 5-6 questions right, and have a biglaw job in my ideal market. You need to recognize you are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Ultimately, I don't think you are going to listen to me. But be warned, without ties to one of these areas, especially given they are ALL in the south (WUSTL arguably so) and ALL extremely insular markets, you will struggle to find ANY legal job, not just the ideal legal job.

Given your lack of ties to any of these market and your desire for national placement and/or Seattle, it makes zero sense for any of these schools. If I had a gun to my head, I would probably say FSU because its free, but you aren't going to get biglaw, you aren't going to get a clerkship, and you are going to have to hustle your ass off to MAYBE get a 40-50k local government gig in the middle of Florida.

SidV101

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby SidV101 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:47 am

sparkytrainer wrote:I don't think you have figured this out yet, so I will repeat. There are 13 schools with national placement. That is it. If you want to go to a regional school, which all the above choices are, the first, second, and third crack at jobs will go to people with ties to that market. Did you know for every 2 law students graduating, there is only 1 job available?

With FSU specifically, over 25% of their graduates dont ever find work as lawyers. The people who go to FSU are generally people from Florida and are looking to work in local/state government. Guess who makes up a good portion of that 25% who wont get jobs? The out of state people with no ties that cannot compellingly answer why you want to work in local florida government and get paid 40-50k a year. The median salary out of FSU, if you are lucky enough to get a job, is 50k a year.

Listen, I appreciate your desire not wanting to retake. I didn't want to either. I went from options similar to yours and butting my head against the wall with reality and finally decided to retake for another time (had previously taken it a bunch). I crushed that score, getting my legal education paid for by Duke/UVA purely because I got another 5-6 questions right, and have a biglaw job in my ideal market. You need to recognize you are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Ultimately, I don't think you are going to listen to me. But be warned, without ties to one of these areas, especially given they are ALL in the south (WUSTL arguably so) and ALL extremely insular markets, you will struggle to find ANY legal job, not just the ideal legal job.

Given your lack of ties to any of these market and your desire for national placement and/or Seattle, it makes zero sense for any of these schools. If I had a gun to my head, I would probably say FSU because its free, but you aren't going to get biglaw, you aren't going to get a clerkship, and you are going to have to hustle your ass off to MAYBE get a 40-50k local government gig in the middle of Florida.


I studied for the LSAT for 3 years and finally got an outlier of a high score. Scoring better is not in the cards for me, I’m just not good enough. I’m willing to “hustle my ass off” as you say for those local jobs. And I have to think that they would consider someone towards the top of their class from out of state over a local kid at the bottom of their class. But I appreciate how depressed the legal market is, and it’s good to be reminded of it in stark terms. The idea of working in government is quite appealing to me btw, I’ve got a pretty excellent sales pitch for it.

I would really like to hear from people on the logistics of creating local ties in a new area. Is it more about who you know, which internships/jobs you take? How useful is it to develop close ties to faculty? Is it feasible that if say, my Alabama girlfriend has an uncle that practices law, that he’d be useful in helping me penetrate the market?

beinghuman

Moderator
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:10 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby beinghuman » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:56 pm

I have a hunch that you will come to regret your choice, given your options and your cavalier approach to a high likelihood of great struggle for jobs. It will get tiresome at some point so your positive attitude right now will quickly change once you are faced with the harsh reality.

Another reason why I have concerns (and it's none of my business) but you mention a potential girlfriend earlier who now is your girlfriend and you are counting on that relationship in making future plans????!!!! That for me is a big sign of not enough life experience and a really unwise way of thinking...

SidV101 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:I don't think you have figured this out yet, so I will repeat. There are 13 schools with national placement. That is it. If you want to go to a regional school, which all the above choices are, the first, second, and third crack at jobs will go to people with ties to that market. Did you know for every 2 law students graduating, there is only 1 job available?

With FSU specifically, over 25% of their graduates dont ever find work as lawyers. The people who go to FSU are generally people from Florida and are looking to work in local/state government. Guess who makes up a good portion of that 25% who wont get jobs? The out of state people with no ties that cannot compellingly answer why you want to work in local florida government and get paid 40-50k a year. The median salary out of FSU, if you are lucky enough to get a job, is 50k a year.

Listen, I appreciate your desire not wanting to retake. I didn't want to either. I went from options similar to yours and butting my head against the wall with reality and finally decided to retake for another time (had previously taken it a bunch). I crushed that score, getting my legal education paid for by Duke/UVA purely because I got another 5-6 questions right, and have a biglaw job in my ideal market. You need to recognize you are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Ultimately, I don't think you are going to listen to me. But be warned, without ties to one of these areas, especially given they are ALL in the south (WUSTL arguably so) and ALL extremely insular markets, you will struggle to find ANY legal job, not just the ideal legal job.

Given your lack of ties to any of these market and your desire for national placement and/or Seattle, it makes zero sense for any of these schools. If I had a gun to my head, I would probably say FSU because its free, but you aren't going to get biglaw, you aren't going to get a clerkship, and you are going to have to hustle your ass off to MAYBE get a 40-50k local government gig in the middle of Florida.


I studied for the LSAT for 3 years and finally got an outlier of a high score. Scoring better is not in the cards for me, I’m just not good enough. I’m willing to “hustle my ass off” as you say for those local jobs. And I have to think that they would consider someone towards the top of their class from out of state over a local kid at the bottom of their class. But I appreciate how depressed the legal market is, and it’s good to be reminded of it in stark terms. The idea of working in government is quite appealing to me btw, I’ve got a pretty excellent sales pitch for it.

I would really like to hear from people on the logistics of creating local ties in a new area. Is it more about who you know, which internships/jobs you take? How useful is it to develop close ties to faculty? Is it feasible that if say, my Alabama girlfriend has an uncle that practices law, that he’d be useful in helping me penetrate the market?

SidV101

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby SidV101 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:18 pm

beinghuman wrote:”you mention a potential girlfriend earlier who now is your girlfriend and you are counting on that relationship in making future plans????!!!! That for me is a big sign of not enough life experience and a really unwise way of thinking...


That was just a hypothetical. I don’t expect that specific relationship to work out, but I think it’s likely I’ll have made serious friends, maybe even a spouse, from the local area by the time I graduate. What I’m really asking is, are those sorts of connection a realistic way of trying to get a job in a local market?

And could you guys calm down about my positivity lol. That’s just how my brain works. I know it’s going to be tremendously difficult to find a job, that there’s way more people with law degrees than there are jobs in law. But if I go to FSU I’ll graduate with no debt. You know what’s also hard? Living in Seattle on $15/hour. Finding a better paying job with a political science degree. My odds are better with a law degree. ::shruggie::

JeebsDeadshot

New
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:11 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby JeebsDeadshot » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:49 pm

That was just a hypothetical. I don’t expect that specific relationship to work out, but I think it’s likely I’ll have made serious friends, maybe even a spouse, from the local area by the time I graduate. What I’m really asking is, are those sorts of connection a realistic way of trying to get a job in a local market?


No it is not a realistic way of trying to get a job in a very insular market. Most people make friends at their law school. Some people find a girlfriend/boyfriend in their class or the local area. Making friends, or even dating someone for 1 year tops before OCI does not convince firms you have ties to an area.

As sparkytrainer said, Atlanta and Birmingham are two of the most difficult job markets to crack. Birmingham doesn't take only Alabama kids, they take kids from Vandy/W&L/Wake and other good southeastern law schools. Birmingham firms will also pull from Cumberland/Ole Miss/random lower ranked schools to get people with ties, and would likely prefer that to someone with decent grades who moved to Alabama for law school. You are also assuming you are going to finish at the top of your class which is far from given.

Atlanta is probably even more challenging to crack because it is an even more desirable legal market to be in with a more national recruiting reach. ATL firms pull heavily from UGA as well as Emory/Bama/W&M/UNC etc. as well as UVA/Duke kids who are from Atlanta and want to return there, in addition to other random T14 kids who want to be in ATL. It is a very desirable market, not a particularly large legal market, and the firms there can afford to take only the top kids from UGA with ties, top kids from the other schools in the southeast with ties, and t14 kids with ties.

If you want to be in Seattle, go to UW despite the higher cost. If I were you I would pay more to go to UW over WUSTL to avoid the risk of not getting back to Seattle. If you are open to working in any major market, WUSTL is a viable choice as it seems to place all over. I actually think WUSTL is a good choice at 80k if you are very geographically flexible and understand the risks of not finishing in the top third or so of your class. But please don't go to Bama or WUSTL thinking you can work in Birmingham or Atlanta because you likely won't be able to.

Your thoughts that going to WUSTL or Bama because you like ATL or Bham (have you actually visited?), you might date (and potentially get engaged to) someone you just met to show ties, or instead of going for biglaw you would go to FSU and be content with a very different outcome of making 60k in Florida all suggest that you aren't incredibly mature and maybe you don't have a great grasp of how this process works.

SidV101

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby SidV101 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:21 pm

JeebsDeadshot wrote:Your thoughts that going to WUSTL or Bama because you like ATL or Bham (have you actually visited?), you might date (and potentially get engaged to) someone you just met to show ties, or instead of going for biglaw you would go to FSU and be content with a very different outcome of making 60k in Florida all suggest that you aren't incredibly mature and maybe you don't have a great grasp of how this process works.


You’re right, I don’t have a great grasp on how this works. That’s why I’m asking for input. I’m leaning harder to FSU now on account of the bleakness of job prospects as a transplant in Atlanta and Birmingham and the lack of debt I’d accrue at FSU. You guys are really getting hung up on the dating thing, I wasn’t saying that’s something I would do to a job - I was just asking if it would be helpful if that happened. It’s enough to say no without attacking my character. I am actually kind of annoyed at you for saying that being okay with making $60k is immature. Have you seen the distribution of salaries lawyers make? It’s a bimodal distribution with the vast majority of people making $30-$90k. *Most* lawyers make around $60k, and that is a decent salary to me - it’s twice what I currently make. That’s a classist thing to say, and demonstrates that you yourself lack a reasonable perspective on the matter.

So. With FSU I’d be graduating debt free with the goal of trying to get a Florida job, legal or government. They have extensive internship and externships opportunities, would *those* be a good way of gaining a foothold for a local job? If not, try to understand that my suggestions are just me spitballing to try get the ball rolling - what WOULD you suggest I do to try to gain a foothold?

JeebsDeadshot

New
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:11 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby JeebsDeadshot » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:02 pm

SidV101 wrote:
JeebsDeadshot wrote:Your thoughts that going to WUSTL or Bama because you like ATL or Bham (have you actually visited?), you might date (and potentially get engaged to) someone you just met to show ties, or instead of going for biglaw you would go to FSU and be content with a very different outcome of making 60k in Florida all suggest that you aren't incredibly mature and maybe you don't have a great grasp of how this process works.


You’re right, I don’t have a great grasp on how this works. That’s why I’m asking for input. I’m leaning harder to FSU now on account of the bleakness of job prospects as a transplant in Atlanta and Birmingham and the lack of debt I’d accrue at FSU. You guys are really getting hung up on the dating thing, I wasn’t saying that’s something I would do to a job - I was just asking if it would be helpful if that happened. It’s enough to say no without attacking my character. I am actually kind of annoyed at you for saying that being okay with making $60k is immature. Have you seen the distribution of salaries lawyers make? It’s a bimodal distribution with the vast majority of people making $30-$90k. *Most* lawyers make around $60k, and that is a decent salary to me - it’s twice what I currently make. That’s a classist thing to say, and demonstrates that you yourself lack a reasonable perspective on the matter.

So. With FSU I’d be graduating debt free with the goal of trying to get a Florida job, legal or government. They have extensive internship and externships opportunities, would *those* be a good way of gaining a foothold for a local job? If not, try to understand that my suggestions are just me spitballing to try get the ball rolling - what WOULD you suggest I do to try to gain a foothold?


I was saying that because your reasoning for considering going to WUSTL or Alabama is to work for a large law firm in a big market, and your reasoning for going to FSU is to work for the government and make 60k, those are pretty different outcomes and it suggests you don't really know what you are looking for.

I don't think you should write off Bama and WUSTL because of the difficulty in landing a job in ATL or Birmingham, particularly WUSTL. Law school transparency shows that WUSTL places about a fifth of its class in Missouri, and a decent amount in New York and Chicago, and the rest scattered throughout the country. If you aren't entirely sure where you want to be yet, WUSTL is a solid option considering its good ranking and national reach.

Have you tried negotiating with UW? It seems you got more money to go to WUSTL (#18) than you did to go to a school ranked 14 spots lower if that is what you are saying the costs are. It is worth a shot to ask UW to get as close as possible to matching WUSTL. If you truly want to be in Seattle then UW may be the way to go, as the increase in COA would be worth it if you really want to be in Seattle.

Also, you don't HAVE to go to law school this year. You obviously have good stats and can have success again applying next year. It might be valuable to take an extra year to get more work experience, talk with current lawyers, and figure out what exactly you want. I personally don't think FSU is the way to go if you've said you want to work at a large law firm. You'd have to be pretty committed to the idea of living in Florida, which it doesn't entirely sound like you are. But it is your choice and you have a few good options. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more.

SidV101

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby SidV101 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:20 pm

JeebsDeadshot wrote:[Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more.

@JeebsDeadshot
I’m not seeing a way to PM you, so I guess I’ll talk here. Thanks for the input, there’s a lot more that went into choosing FSU, here’s my thought process:

I’ve got my back against the wall. I’m about to lose my job because of an injury and it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to get disability for it (long story). My LSAT score isn’t going to increase anyways, I studied for it for 3 years and my current high is a significant outlier from how I normally perform. It’s too late to negotiate with UW because their deposit deadline is today, and they likely wouldn’t increase their offer because they average LSATs and my average is 5 points lower than my high.

You are right that I don’t know what kind of law I want to go into, but I feel like 1L is a great place to find out. During 1L people often learn about new areas of law they didn’t know much about and switch tracks. So I’d love to keep my options open, and zero debt enables that. I’m one of the less money obsessed law candidates and I don’t think I’d be happy doing BigLaw unless it turns out I really like what I’m doing (particularly because of the hours). Working in government has actually always been something I’m interested in; my current job is a federal one.

WUSTL is tempting for the higher chance at being rich and/or an increased chance at getting a job back in Seattle. But that price I listed is only after my parents contribute a large portion of money that they can’t really afford to give me (they said they would anyways).

Coming back to Seattle would be nice but it’s not that big of a deal. Florida is a sunshine-y paradise, I think I’d be perfectly happy to live there. Alabama seems to feed into Georgia and I really like Georgia. Alabama I have some doubts about, but I really like the people I met there. The Midwest and Northeast are complete unknowns to me, I’ve never been to either region.

JeebsDeadshot

New
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:11 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby JeebsDeadshot » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:13 am

SidV101 wrote:
JeebsDeadshot wrote:[Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more.

@JeebsDeadshot
I’m not seeing a way to PM you, so I guess I’ll talk here. Thanks for the input, there’s a lot more that went into choosing FSU, here’s my thought process:

I’ve got my back against the wall. I’m about to lose my job because of an injury and it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to get disability for it (long story). My LSAT score isn’t going to increase anyways, I studied for it for 3 years and my current high is a significant outlier from how I normally perform. It’s too late to negotiate with UW because their deposit deadline is today, and they likely wouldn’t increase their offer because they average LSATs and my average is 5 points lower than my high.

You are right that I don’t know what kind of law I want to go into, but I feel like 1L is a great place to find out. During 1L people often learn about new areas of law they didn’t know much about and switch tracks. So I’d love to keep my options open, and zero debt enables that. I’m one of the less money obsessed law candidates and I don’t think I’d be happy doing BigLaw unless it turns out I really like what I’m doing (particularly because of the hours). Working in government has actually always been something I’m interested in; my current job is a federal one.

WUSTL is tempting for the higher chance at being rich and/or an increased chance at getting a job back in Seattle. But that price I listed is only after my parents contribute a large portion of money that they can’t really afford to give me (they said they would anyways).

Coming back to Seattle would be nice but it’s not that big of a deal. Florida is a sunshine-y paradise, I think I’d be perfectly happy to live there. Alabama seems to feed into Georgia and I really like Georgia. Alabama I have some doubts about, but I really like the people I met there. The Midwest and Northeast are complete unknowns to me, I’ve never been to either region.


I've not really figured out this whole PM thing either. That makes sense. I was confused because you initially mentioned an interest large law firms and then spoke to an interest in government work, but your explanation certainly makes sense.

It's important to think about what you really want over the next few days and weeks. If you truly aren't sure, you can put a deposit down on multiple schools and take the next two or three months to decide. It may seem like a lot of money, but it is very worth it to make the most informed and thought out decision.

If you can narrow it down to 3 or 2 schools and put down deposits, it will give you time to talk to current students and grads, as well as attorneys in your area in both government and private practice to get advice and general perspective into what their careers are like. You can also talk to people in the job markets you are interested in and hear what the legal market there is like, and how people like living and working there. It seems you are really giving this thought but it would serve you well to talk to people and think about it with the most information at your hands.

FWIW, I worked for a year and a half before law school and spoke to about 30 lawyers and law students and I feel like it was a huge help for figuring out what I wanted going into law school and how to get that outcome. That is obviously a bit of an extreme but I think you would be at a huge advantage to do that. Email people who went to your alma mater, who work in government in the locations you are considering, and even firms in those areas if that is something you would consider. It will be an easy conversation to initiate if you share an alma mater or experience working in government. Even if you don't I found people naturally want to give advice and tell you why they are so successful, for better or for worse.

Regarding what you said about your choices: I would not go to Alabama unless you are comfortable with the idea of living in Alabama after graduation. Sure it feeds well into Georgia, but that is a really tough state/market to get into, and it feeds very heavily into Alabama. FSU is a great option if you are confident you want to work in government or would be fine working at a smaller law firm, it doesn't place very well into large law firms (~8% of grads according to most recent numbers). But if you go to FSU, you should talk to people at the school and alums and make sure you would enjoy going there and living there after graduation. Florida is obviously a big transplant state so it is somewhere that an outsider like you could come in and be just fine.

I do think WUSTL might be the best choice for you. Again, it gives you a much more national reach, which is huge for you if you don't really know where you want to be. It would suck to go to FSU and realize you hate Florida and don't want to live there. Sure WUSTL involves taking on a considerable debt load but I think it is worth it for a) the doors going to a top 20 school will open up for you, whether it be in government or for working at a firm and b) the portability of a WUSTL degree particularly if you aren't sure where you want to be. If you work for the government or in public interest, there are several options for public assistance programs to help you pay back your loans, and I imagine a school like WUSTL has the money to have a good payback program. If you end up working for a large law firm, 80k of debt is very low considering the debt load most people at big law firms have.

No matter what you do, make sure you make the most informed and thought out decision. $500 or whatever deposits are these days is well worth the money for giving yourself time to make sure you make the right decision.

beinghuman

Moderator
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:10 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby beinghuman » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:17 pm

It's your life man. It does not affect me (or others you are also expressing concerns). We are just trying to warn you.

I have had the same exact conversation with many of my friends who ended up going to non T-13 schools, with a positive attitude that quickly changed once 3L summer arrived. Odds MIGHT be better with a law degree, it all depends. There are many who return to their previous jobs with no pay increase or take a job for which a JD is useless and make the same amount of money as their colleagues. If you do not end up working as a lawyer coming out from FSU, I am not sure that any employer will pay you more just because you have a JD. In sum, odds are not necessarily better with a law degree. So you need to do some serious research on the schools you are considering and think hard about your prospects. Good luck!


SidV101 wrote:
beinghuman wrote:”you mention a potential girlfriend earlier who now is your girlfriend and you are counting on that relationship in making future plans????!!!! That for me is a big sign of not enough life experience and a really unwise way of thinking...


That was just a hypothetical. I don’t expect that specific relationship to work out, but I think it’s likely I’ll have made serious friends, maybe even a spouse, from the local area by the time I graduate. What I’m really asking is, are those sorts of connection a realistic way of trying to get a job in a local market?

And could you guys calm down about my positivity lol. That’s just how my brain works. I know it’s going to be tremendously difficult to find a job, that there’s way more people with law degrees than there are jobs in law. But if I go to FSU I’ll graduate with no debt. You know what’s also hard? Living in Seattle on $15/hour. Finding a better paying job with a political science degree. My odds are better with a law degree. ::shruggie::

SidV101

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby SidV101 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:01 pm

Sorry I kinda abandoned this thread, just dropping back in to say thanks to all of you, there was a ton of useful advice in here and I think I've heard enough to make a decision. Weirdly good news is I'm going to be unemployed my last 3 months in Seattle so that's plenty of time to try to get a head start on talking to the firms here. I'll still check back occasionally in case anyone contributes any new thoughts. Cheers!

sparkytrainer

Silver
Posts: 805
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:32 am

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby sparkytrainer » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:33 pm

OP, please update this thread in a year and after that as an example of how our advice was correct and you weren't.

SidV101

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby SidV101 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:06 am

sparkytrainer wrote:OP, please update this thread in a year and after that as an example of how our advice was correct and you weren't.


Sure thing! Wouldn't it take longer than a year to realize I'd made a mistake though? I've heard most people don't get a paid job 1L summer

Also: I might have found a way to get WUSTL down under $40k so the whole calculus of this thread is off now

SidV101

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby SidV101 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:14 am

SidV101 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:OP, please update this thread in a year and after that as an example of how our advice was correct and you weren't.


Sure thing! Wouldn't it take longer than a year to realize I'd made a mistake though? I've heard most people don't get a paid job 1L summer

Edit: I settled on FSU; I looked at my parents’ finances and didn’t feel comfortable accepting money to subsidize WUSTL, plus I really do like the idea of working in Florida, and my personality (very laid back) is probably a better fit for a government job than one in the private sector anyway. If anyone else comes across this thread the final question I have is this: how difficult is it to find work as a federal employee vs state government in Florida, particularly as someone who has worked a federal job for 5 years (3 full time) in Seattle?

mpk11d

New
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:40 pm

Re: Alabama $40k vs WUSTL $80k?

Postby mpk11d » Wed May 09, 2018 8:05 am

FSU Grad here. Just graduated Sunday, OP, if you're looking to stay in Florida you'll be just fine. I'm working in "Big Law" at a firm with ~300~ attorneys and a salary well north in the 6 figure category. I also had plenty of Federal Clerkship opportunities. If you're looking to go to Seattle or somewhere across the country, good luck, wouldn't recommend it - but hey that's you.

I turned town Georgetown, Cornell, Duke, and Vandy to stay in state at FSU because I had a full ride and because I was fine staying in Florida. FSU grads, however, are finding more and more jobs at bigger firms in ATL. I know a few going to Alston & Weinberg this year.

Lastly, you won't be working at a "smaller firm" or in state government if you go to FSU. Those are certainly options, and i'd say more do that than go the big law route. But in this class alone I know of people going to Foley (San Diego & Tallahassee), Hogan Lovells, Weinberg, Alston, Akerman, and then bigger FL firms (within the AmLaw 200) Shutts & Bowen, GrayRobinson, Broad & Cassel. These don't include the group of individuals that are doing clerkships and then likely jumping ship to a bigger firm. And those are just individuals I know personally. You just have to do well in school for those opportunities to open. Big firms in Florida are just as likely to hire UF/FSU grads than they are any of the T14 schools placing kids across the country.



Return to “Choosing a Law School?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: VladVladVlad and 21 guests