Need Help W&L or University of Miami Law?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
crg
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:30 am

Need Help W&L or University of Miami Law?

Postby crg » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:40 am

We have arrived in Lexington, it is much smaller than we expected. The School is beautiful, I spoke to a student who is transferring out for family reasons but raved about the school and the faculty. However, I feel it would be very difficult for my fiance to survive out here, and I would be unhappy living here. Specifically, the town has a population of 7000 people, and there are two towns in one hour in each direction that are larger (nothing over 100K).

Washington & Lee Pros:
small classes
excellent professors
prestigious reputation
I would be a proud graduate
At graduation I would be able to move anywhere on the east coast and FL.
Strong alumni connections and assistance

Washington & Lee Cons:
My fiance and I may be unhappy living here
My fiance will struggle with employment
small town (neither one of us like that)
Cannot network, would have to get internships in the surrounding areas where we would not want to live in the future.
Class of 135 students who all have nothing else to do but study and it will be difficult to make the top 5% of my class.
No LLM programs
Must compete with two higher ranked law schools in the area for internships
My fiance and I have always wanted to live in Miami

University of Miami Pros:
large city (love that)
Network and receive internships in the area that we want to live in the future.
My fiance and I would be happy living here
Fiance has a better shot at employment
More distractions for law students, thus easier for me to place higher in my class. (I don't get distracted by anything)
Better chance to pursue Health Law since they have numerous hospitals and old people.

University of Miami Cons:
Lesser ranked school, not a prestigious schools just a good school.
I would be graduating with 500 students instead of 135.
No LLM in Health Law but a masters program at their medical school.
Not as strong as alumni connections
I would not be as proud to graduate from UM.
Unlike W&L, most students stay receive jobs in Miami upon graduation so if we decide we don't like FL we may be forced to stay there for a few years.

My fiance noticed that a lot of my cons for miami were short term and pros for W&L were long term.

Am I being childish by passing up a prestigious education for a place I would prefer to live and work? What should I do? I have been back and forth so much and lost with this new feeling of indecisiveness. Furthermore, my fiance will fully support where ever we decide to stay.

User avatar
Knock
Posts: 5152
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:09 pm

Re: Need Help W&L or University of Miami Law?

Postby Knock » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:45 am

crg wrote:We have arrived in Lexington, it is much smaller than we expected. The School is beautiful, I spoke to a student who is transferring out for family reasons but raved about the school and the faculty. However, I feel it would be very difficult for my fiance to survive out here, and I would be unhappy living here. Specifically, the town has a population of 7000 people, and there are two towns in one hour in each direction that are larger (nothing over 100K).

Washington & Lee Pros:
small classes
excellent professors
prestigious reputation
I would be a proud graduate
At graduation I would be able to move anywhere on the east coast and FL.
Strong alumni connections and assistance

Washington & Lee Cons:
My fiance and I may be unhappy living here
My fiance will struggle with employment
small town (neither one of us like that)
Cannot network, would have to get internships in the surrounding areas where we would not want to live in the future.
Class of 135 students who all have nothing else to do but study and it will be difficult to make the top 5% of my class.
No LLM programs
Must compete with two higher ranked law schools in the area for internships
My fiance and I have always wanted to live in Miami

University of Miami Pros:
large city (love that)
Network and receive internships in the area that we want to live in the future.
My fiance and I would be happy living here
Fiance has a better shot at employment
More distractions for law students, thus easier for me to place higher in my class. (I don't get distracted by anything)
Better chance to pursue Health Law since they have numerous hospitals and old people.

University of Miami Cons:
Lesser ranked school, not a prestigious schools just a good school.
I would be graduating with 500 students instead of 135.
No LLM in Health Law but a masters program at their medical school.
Not as strong as alumni connections
I would not be as proud to graduate from UM.
Unlike W&L, most students stay receive jobs in Miami upon graduation so if we decide we don't like FL we may be forced to stay there for a few years.

My fiance noticed that a lot of my cons for miami were short term and pros for W&L were long term.

Am I being childish by passing up a prestigious education for a place I would prefer to live and work? What should I do? I have been back and forth so much and lost with this new feeling of indecisiveness. Furthermore, my fiance will fully support where ever we decide to stay.


No way, I think quite the opposite, you're being smart and mature. Too many people choose their LS based on rank/prestige alone, without focusing enough on attending a school that would get them to where they want to live and work.

I think you got to go to the school where you would rather live and work, provided there isn't a huge rankings difference. At this level, schools are mostly regional anways, so attend school in the region you'd prefer. From this post, it seems that you have a strong preference for Miami.

Edit: AFter looking at it, it's quite a jump in the rankings. You could likely get a large scholarship to U. Miami as compared to W&L.

Did you apply to U. of Florida at all? I'm not sure how much you'd like to live in Gainesville, but it seems like a good compromise. It's in Florida, ranked in between the two schools but closer to W&L

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Need Help W&L or University of Miami Law?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:35 am

Miami.

User avatar
ZachOda
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:15 pm

Re: Need Help W&L or University of Miami Law?

Postby ZachOda » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:40 pm

deleted
Last edited by ZachOda on Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

rundoxierun
Posts: 1893
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:46 am

Re: Need Help W&L or University of Miami Law?

Postby rundoxierun » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:48 pm

Rankings of these two schools are irrelevant.. neither is ranked high enough for the "prestigiousness" to be a real consideration. Decide based on which market you would rather live/work in.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11720
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Need Help W&L or University of Miami Law?

Postby kalvano » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:02 pm

W&L isn't special enough to spend 3 years in a place you hate.

That's the same reason I decided not to pursue the WL there. The school seemed great and wonderful, but the town was just not my thing.

bigred87
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:25 am

Re: Need Help W&L or University of Miami Law?

Postby bigred87 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:45 am

I think you should think of it more long-term. I don't know much about W&L the town that it's in...but as a current Univ of Miami law student, I would warn you as much as I can to stay away. First, Univ. of Miami isn't ranked as well, but don't think it'll be easier to rank in the top of your class--it won't. It's still quite competitive, and it's law school (plus UM has a really really tough curve). I am a 2L at U of Miami in the top 1% of the class, law review, ivy league grad, and had the opportunity to transfer to a top 14 and stayed in Miami for the money--big mistake. None of us have been able to find jobs for the summer, let alone get interviews. And of course, the economy is bad, but if you're looking to stay in South Florida, the job market is already really small, and is as tight as ever---firms down here are taking like 1-2 summers, and they don't even take students from down here. If you graduate from here, it will be hard to get a job anywhere else (I interviewed at many firms all over the country this year, and employers all but laughed at UM and asked why I didn't transfer--not joking). I lucked out and landed a summer associate position for next summer on teh west coast, by sheer luck and right time/place, but most people I know cannot even find an internship. To make a long story short--if you definitely know you want to stay in florida/miami for a very long time, and don't want to have a good shot at big law firm job, stay away from Miami. They lure people in with propaganda and distortions. Go with the better ranked school that will take your further in the long run.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Need Help W&L or University of Miami Law?

Postby Grizz » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:57 am

bigred87 wrote:I think you should think of it more long-term. I don't know much about W&L the town that it's in...but as a current Univ of Miami law student, I would warn you as much as I can to stay away. First, Univ. of Miami isn't ranked as well, but don't think it'll be easier to rank in the top of your class--it won't. It's still quite competitive, and it's law school (plus UM has a really really tough curve). I am a 2L at U of Miami in the top 1% of the class, law review, ivy league grad, and had the opportunity to transfer to a top 14 and stayed in Miami for the money--big mistake. None of us have been able to find jobs for the summer, let alone get interviews. And of course, the economy is bad, but if you're looking to stay in South Florida, the job market is already really small, and is as tight as ever---firms down here are taking like 1-2 summers, and they don't even take students from down here. If you graduate from here, it will be hard to get a job anywhere else (I interviewed at many firms all over the country this year, and employers all but laughed at UM and asked why I didn't transfer--not joking). I lucked out and landed a summer associate position for next summer on teh west coast, by sheer luck and right time/place, but most people I know cannot even find an internship. To make a long story short--if you definitely know you want to stay in florida/miami for a very long time, and don't want to have a good shot at big law firm job, stay away from Miami. They lure people in with propaganda and distortions. Go with the better ranked school that will take your further in the long run.


I was just gonna write "Don't go to Miami without a full scholarship," but I think this was much more effective.

mst
Posts: 925
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:01 am

Re: Need Help W&L or University of Miami Law?

Postby mst » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:05 am

Wait, why are you limiting your choices to these two schools? I think W&L's general alumni base is going to better serve you in this market, although opportunities at both will be underwhelming regardless. Why are you forcing yourself to choose between two schools that obviously don't meed your needs? No law school choice should include this many cons.

ATR
Posts: 1119
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:18 pm

Re: Need Help W&L or University of Miami Law?

Postby ATR » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:38 am

bigred87 wrote:I think you should think of it more long-term. I don't know much about W&L the town that it's in...but as a current Univ of Miami law student, I would warn you as much as I can to stay away. First, Univ. of Miami isn't ranked as well, but don't think it'll be easier to rank in the top of your class--it won't. It's still quite competitive, and it's law school (plus UM has a really really tough curve). I am a 2L at U of Miami in the top 1% of the class, law review, ivy league grad, and had the opportunity to transfer to a top 14 and stayed in Miami for the money--big mistake. None of us have been able to find jobs for the summer, let alone get interviews. And of course, the economy is bad, but if you're looking to stay in South Florida, the job market is already really small, and is as tight as ever---firms down here are taking like 1-2 summers, and they don't even take students from down here. If you graduate from here, it will be hard to get a job anywhere else (I interviewed at many firms all over the country this year, and employers all but laughed at UM and asked why I didn't transfer--not joking). I lucked out and landed a summer associate position for next summer on teh west coast, by sheer luck and right time/place, but most people I know cannot even find an internship. To make a long story short--if you definitely know you want to stay in florida/miami for a very long time, and don't want to have a good shot at big law firm job, stay away from Miami. They lure people in with propaganda and distortions. Go with the better ranked school that will take your further in the long run.

I was considering UM as a safety/$$$$ lock, but, after reading this, I'm not applying. Jesus Christ.

FreddyBigShot
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:51 pm

Re: Need Help W&L or University of Miami Law?

Postby FreddyBigShot » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:50 am

If you want a job; W&L.

User avatar
gdane
Posts: 12331
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:41 pm

Re: Need Help W&L or University of Miami Law?

Postby gdane » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:02 pm

UMiami is garbage. Please do not choose UMiami. The Miami legal market is terrible and you'd just be another lawyer in the already oversaturated market.

The school is extremely overpriced. Its not worth it. Only go if they offer you a significant amount of money.

The city itself sucks, but thats my opinion.

Go to W&L because youd have better employment opportunities coming out of there.

Apply to UF if you can. Its a much better school than UMiami and will have more clout in South Florida and Florida in general.

Good luck!




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: maybeman and 5 guests