Wake Forest vs. Emory, both with $$$??

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Wake Forest vs. Emory, both with $$$??

Postby drworm14 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:37 pm

Hi all,

As you all could reasonably infer, I am hell-bent on practicing in the south. I do not particularly care where, so long as there is a large city with a reasonably lucrative legal market I could tap into. My credentials are less than outstanding (3.41, 166), but I have nonetheless been awarded considerable merit aid from all of the schools I applied to (I purposely aimed low because any school that would be "pushing it" would presumably not have been worth the payoff). The two best offers I currently have in hand are Emory (ranked 26 for 2020) and Wake Forest (ranked 31 for 2020). Like I said, I don't care where I practice. As a native New Jerseyan and frequent south-bound vacationer, I have found the south to be to my liking. I have no issue being "regionally constrained". With merit aid, Emory will cost me about $37k/year, while Wake Forest will cost me about $27k. There are also lower ranked schools I received more aid to, but I assume most of you would write these schools off as "death sentences" to avoid at all cost. Is the debt I would inevitably incur worth the payoff from either of these schools? Or should I aim higher/lower?


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Re: Wake Forest vs. Emory, both with $$$??

Postby QContinuum » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:59 pm

What kind of lawyer do you see yourself being? Do you want to work at a small firm? As a state public defender or prosecutor? And are you sure about wanting to stay in the South for pretty much the rest of your professional life? There's a big difference between vacationing in the Outer Banks or Savannah or Florida and actually living and working in the South. There are many places that are well worth visiting on vacation but that I'd be miserable living in.

I will also give the (possibly expected) advice to retake the LSAT. Look at your prospects with even a mere two extra points:

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Re: Wake Forest vs. Emory, both with $$$??

Postby floatie » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:10 pm

I go to Emory, so PM me if you have any specific questions.

Emory is a great school to go to if you want to live and work in the South, and if you have ties to the South. The latter point is really important because Atlanta isn't a huge legal market, and a lot of the big firms in the area are really conscious about only hiring people that they think are going to stick around in ATL instead of bailing for NY/DC. There is a very strong preference towards hiring people with ties to the region (not necessarily ATL, but anywhere in the South). Plus, summer classes in ATL are pretty small compared to NY/DC (for example, K&S has maybe 20-30 summers, compared to 100+ at some NY firms). I have a lot of friends who got several biglaw offers in NY/DC, but struck out in ATL.

If you want public interest, Emory's a great place for that and it's known as a school with more of a focus on public interest. My peers haven't struggled to get internships with local DA/PD's offices. But again, ATL isn't a huge market and these spots can be competitive. But if you are interested only in PI, don't count out Georgia State if you applied there. GA State has just as strong of a reputation in PI at a fraction of the cost (depending on your scholarship situation).

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