South Florida Schools

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ganja
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South Florida Schools

Postby ganja » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:25 pm

Hello all. Long time lurker and rare poster here but I'm in need of some TLS insight. So I will be going to law school at one of the 4 south FL schools- Nova Southeastern University, St. Thomas University, University of Miami and Florida International University(I know, not the most desirable market or law school pickings but I have to sacrifice for my wife and child as we have lived here all our lives and she has a steady job down here). I have a cousin who graduated from St . Thomas back in 2005, just started his own firm, doing quite well and has offered me a job upon completion of my degree. Now because none of these schools are very desirable, I'm probably going to the school that makes the most financial sense. I am resident of FL so FIU tuition comes at a pretty nice discount and because of my wife's job, my COL won't be too much so my main expenses would be tuition, books and transportation. Is there any chance at a full ride at any of these schools (mainly St. Thomas-75th percentiles 3.3/150 and Nova-75th percentiles 3.5/153)? My numbers are 3.81/153 non-urm and I already maxed out on lsat attempts and not waiting yet another cycle (already sat out two). Advice is much appreciated thanks!

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AT9
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby AT9 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:22 pm

If you get into Miami, you'll probably be paying sticker. And $150K in debt for Miami is probably a really dumb idea.

It's great that you have a job offer lined up (wish I was as lucky), but what if it falls through for some reason? Considering that possibility, St. Thomas shouldn't even be on the table (only 40% of grads had full time, long term legal jobs within 9 months of graduation).

So that leaves you with Nova or FIU, both of which place decently for FL. If you can get Nova for nearly free with no or very generous stipulations, then I'd say take your pick. Otherwise, I think FIU is the best bet here. Good luck!

ganja
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby ganja » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:41 pm

AT9 wrote:If you get into Miami, you'll probably be paying sticker. And $150K in debt for Miami is probably a really dumb idea.

It's great that you have a job offer lined up (wish I was as lucky), but what if it falls through for some reason? Considering that possibility, St. Thomas shouldn't even be on the table (only 40% of grads had full time, long term legal jobs within 9 months of graduation).

So that leaves you with Nova or FIU, both of which place decently for FL. If you can get Nova for nearly free with no or very generous stipulations, then I'd say take your pick. Otherwise, I think FIU is the best bet here. Good luck!

Yea I'm definitely leaning towards FIU but I think St. Thomas will give me the best financial package after speaking to some friends that work in admissions and Nova is very stingy with their $$. When you have a good chance to keep your debt below $30k for three years of LS combined, it's definitely something to think about even if employment prospects aren't the greatest. If I went to FIU and got one of their $5k grants, tuition would run me about $13k a year or $18k at sticker which is still a pretty sweet deal considering I'll only be taking out around $6500 in loans for COL alone. I've submitted all my applications so I'm hoping to get an idea of where I'm going by Christmas. Thanks for your insight!

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Cicero76
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby Cicero76 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:10 am

The absolute worst thing you could do to your family and your future would be to enroll in any one of the godawful law schools that exist in SFL. Seriously, don't even think about it.

ganja
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby ganja » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:14 am

Cicero76 wrote:The absolute worst thing you could do to your family and your future would be to enroll in any one of the godawful law schools that exist in SFL. Seriously, don't even think about it.

Lol you think so? Why do you say that? I know I'm basically choosing between old beat up 1997 corollas and a 2000 civic here but is it really that bad?

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midwest17
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby midwest17 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:03 am

ganja wrote:
Cicero76 wrote:The absolute worst thing you could do to your family and your future would be to enroll in any one of the godawful law schools that exist in SFL. Seriously, don't even think about it.

Lol you think so? Why do you say that? I know I'm basically choosing between old beat up 1997 corollas and a 2000 civic here but is it really that bad?


http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=nova - 54.8%
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=stu - 34.4%
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=miami - 58.8%
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=fiu - 56.5%

ganja
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby ganja » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:48 pm

midwest17 wrote:
ganja wrote:
Cicero76 wrote:The absolute worst thing you could do to your family and your future would be to enroll in any one of the godawful law schools that exist in SFL. Seriously, don't even think about it.

Lol you think so? Why do you say that? I know I'm basically choosing between old beat up 1997 corollas and a 2000 civic here but is it really that bad?


http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=nova - 54.8%
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=stu - 34.4%
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=miami - 58.8%
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=fiu - 56.5%

Tough. At this point, FIU is the lead horse but if I get solid offers from any of the other schools, that may very well change.

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midwest17
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby midwest17 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:12 pm

ganja wrote:
midwest17 wrote:
ganja wrote:
Cicero76 wrote:The absolute worst thing you could do to your family and your future would be to enroll in any one of the godawful law schools that exist in SFL. Seriously, don't even think about it.

Lol you think so? Why do you say that? I know I'm basically choosing between old beat up 1997 corollas and a 2000 civic here but is it really that bad?


http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=nova - 54.8%
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=stu - 34.4%
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=miami - 58.8%
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=fiu - 56.5%

Tough. At this point, FIU is the lead horse but if I get solid offers from any of the other schools, that may very well change.


How much is your cousin going to pay you?

More importantly, what do you think the odds are of your cousin still being successful enough in four years to keep his promise to give you a job? Bear in mind that tons of small businesses seem like they're doing great at first, and then flame out.

Once you've come to terms with the fact that you may need to find a job on your own, realize that none of those schools are sane to attend at sticker.

I'd also recommend reorienting the way you're thinking about this decision. Restricting yourself to the south FL region is not a sacrifice you're making for your wife and child, it's a sacrifice that all three of you are making in exchange for geographic stability and your wife's career. The career prospects and debt you'll have coming out of these schools will affect all of you.

ganja
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby ganja » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:14 pm

midwest17 wrote:
ganja wrote:
midwest17 wrote:
Cicero76 wrote:The absolute worst thing you could do to your family and your future would be to enroll in any one of the godawful law schools that exist in SFL. Seriously, don't even think about it.

Lol you think so? Why do you say that? I know I'm basically choosing between old beat up 1997 corollas and a 2000 civic here but is it really that bad?


http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=nova - 54.8%
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=stu - 34.4%
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=miami - 58.8%
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=fiu - 56.5%



How much is your cousin going to pay you?

More importantly, what do you think the odds are of your cousin still being successful enough in four years to keep his promise to give you a job? Bear in mind that tons of small businesses seem like they're doing great at first, and then flame out.

Once you've come to terms with the fact that you may need to find a job on your own, realize that none of those schools are sane to attend at sticker.

I'd also recommend reorienting the way you're thinking about this decision. Restricting yourself to the south FL region is not a sacrifice you're making for your wife and child, it's a sacrifice that all three of you are making in exchange for geographic stability and your wife's career. The career prospects and debt you'll have coming out of these schools will affect all of you.

Well considering I'm above both 75th percentiles at Nova and St. Thomas (well above) and just below median lsat score but above 75th percentile gpa at FIU I'd like to think I'll get some sort of tuition discount at one of these schools. My cousin has offered $45k starting with benefits. If his business does go under water then I guess I'd have to look elsewhere. I'd like to think that South Florida is a big enough metropolitan area to find something. Especially when doing internships and forging relationships while in law school with firms in the community. I did an internship with a small firm of about 7 attorneys in West Palm Beach (about an hour north of Miami) and still keep in contact with the guys over there so maybe that can turn into something?

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Cicero76
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby Cicero76 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:02 pm

ganja wrote:
Cicero76 wrote:The absolute worst thing you could do to your family and your future would be to enroll in any one of the godawful law schools that exist in SFL. Seriously, don't even think about it.

Lol you think so? Why do you say that? I know I'm basically choosing between old beat up 1997 corollas and a 2000 civic here but is it really that bad?


I know the Florida legal market at least a little bit, and I know a lot of people in it. To put it bluntly, there is simply no realistic chance of you getting a job after graduation that could justify the cost of going to law schools, which is over $100,000 at any of these schools.

You'd be lucky to get a 40-50k/year job coming out of even UM, and that simply can't cover sx figure loans.

If you're already a millionaire and just want the prestige of a JD, go for it.

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Cicero76
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby Cicero76 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:04 pm

Just saw your most recent post. No matter your numbers, neither Nova nor St. Thomas gives scholarships large enough to keep you from six figure debt. And they structure their "scholarships" to be very difficult to retain past 1L

ganja
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby ganja » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:35 pm

Cicero76 wrote:Just saw your most recent post. No matter your numbers, neither Nova nor St. Thomas gives scholarships large enough to keep you from six figure debt. And they structure their "scholarships" to be very difficult to retain past 1L

I did notice the shitty stips on their schollys. I will attempt to negotiate that and see what happens. Also, i do not realistically see myself attaining a six figure debt since my COL would be so low and there is no way in hell I'm attending a private institution at sticker. FIU at sticker is somewhat reasonable just because I get the in state discount and again, I'm looking at minimal COL.. But since you don't see any value in these schools, what would you suggest doing? Thanks for your help btw!

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Cicero76
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby Cicero76 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:39 pm

ganja wrote:
Cicero76 wrote:Just saw your most recent post. No matter your numbers, neither Nova nor St. Thomas gives scholarships large enough to keep you from six figure debt. And they structure their "scholarships" to be very difficult to retain past 1L

I did notice the shitty stips on their schollys. I will attempt to negotiate that and see what happens. Also, i do not realistically see myself attaining a six figure debt since my COL would be so low and there is no way in hell I'm attending a private institution at sticker. FIU at sticker is somewhat reasonable just because I get the in state discount and again, I'm looking at minimal COL.. But since you don't see any value in these schools, what would you suggest doing? Thanks for your help btw!


I would suggest getting an LSAT score that gets you some money at UF/FSU and going there. If your family doesn't want to make the sacrifice of moving to Gainesville/Tally for three years, then your need to become a lawyer isn't really a need. Find another, more fulfilling career.

ganja
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby ganja » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:04 am

Cicero76 wrote:
ganja wrote:
Cicero76 wrote:Just saw your most recent post. No matter your numbers, neither Nova nor St. Thomas gives scholarships large enough to keep you from six figure debt. And they structure their "scholarships" to be very difficult to retain past 1L

I did notice the shitty stips on their schollys. I will attempt to negotiate that and see what happens. Also, i do not realistically see myself attaining a six figure debt since my COL would be so low and there is no way in hell I'm attending a private institution at sticker. FIU at sticker is somewhat reasonable just because I get the in state discount and again, I'm looking at minimal COL.. But since you don't see any value in these schools, what would you suggest doing? Thanks for your help btw!


I would suggest getting an LSAT score that gets you some money at UF/FSU and going there. If your family doesn't want to make the sacrifice of moving to Gainesville/Tally for three years, then your need to become a lawyer isn't really a need. Find another, more fulfilling career.

Well that's definitely some food for thought. I really hate the idea of waiting another cycle though. I'll definitely dive into the idea a little more but as I stated, for the time being, FIU is in the lead. Thanks again for your insight

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Young Marino
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby Young Marino » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:16 am

Definitely retake. You don't want to depend on your cousin's firm staying afloat in todays market.

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jk148706
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby jk148706 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:19 am

ganja wrote: I really hate the idea of waiting another cycle though.


I had no clue about law school last year, took the LSAT on a whim, got a good enough score to get into some TT with $ and almost matriculated.

Thank God I found TLS and started doing real research. I sat out last cycle, studied for the LSAT and retook last week (pretty sure I did significantly better).

Sitting out a year to better your situation can literally save you tens of thousands of dollars.

ganja
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby ganja » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:27 pm

jk148706 wrote:
ganja wrote: I really hate the idea of waiting another cycle though.


I had no clue about law school last year, took the LSAT on a whim, got a good enough score to get into some TT with $ and almost matriculated.

Thank God I found TLS and started doing real research. I sat out last cycle, studied for the LSAT and retook last week (pretty sure I did significantly better).

Sitting out a year to better your situation can literally save you tens of thousands of dollars.

Definitely thinking about. Although I'm not a biglaw or bust kind of guy so I don't mind taking a fat scholly at a lower ranked school so long as the stips are reasonable. I also don't mind working for the state attorney or clerking for a judge my first few years out of LS before going into small law personal injury or marital law if my cousin's firm goes under water.

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jselson
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby jselson » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:02 pm

ganja wrote:
jk148706 wrote:
ganja wrote: I really hate the idea of waiting another cycle though.


I had no clue about law school last year, took the LSAT on a whim, got a good enough score to get into some TT with $ and almost matriculated.

Thank God I found TLS and started doing real research. I sat out last cycle, studied for the LSAT and retook last week (pretty sure I did significantly better).

Sitting out a year to better your situation can literally save you tens of thousands of dollars.

Definitely thinking about. Although I'm not a biglaw or bust kind of guy so I don't mind taking a fat scholly at a lower ranked school so long as the stips are reasonable. I also don't mind working for the state attorney or clerking for a judge my first few years out of LS before going into small law personal injury or marital law if my cousin's firm goes under water.


I don't get why people say this. Clerkships and working for the state attorney are two of the BETTER outcomes at a school like FIU, they aren't backups. I mean, just getting a job, ANY job, is one of the better outcomes from S. FL. schools.

If you already know folks in the S. FL. market, going to Duke or Vandy, or FSU or UF on full-scholarship is the best choice.

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midwest17
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby midwest17 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:07 pm

ganja wrote:
jk148706 wrote:
ganja wrote: I really hate the idea of waiting another cycle though.


I had no clue about law school last year, took the LSAT on a whim, got a good enough score to get into some TT with $ and almost matriculated.

Thank God I found TLS and started doing real research. I sat out last cycle, studied for the LSAT and retook last week (pretty sure I did significantly better).

Sitting out a year to better your situation can literally save you tens of thousands of dollars.

Definitely thinking about. Although I'm not a biglaw or bust kind of guy so I don't mind taking a fat scholly at a lower ranked school so long as the stips are reasonable. I also don't mind working for the state attorney or clerking for a judge my first few years out of LS before going into small law personal injury or marital law if my cousin's firm goes under water.


Assuming that "state attorney" means prosecutor in Florida, that's not a backup option. You'd be competing with people from better schools who had built a resume specifically to get a job as a prosecutor.

ganja
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby ganja » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:21 pm

I don't know why I put that in there. Just meant to say clerk or small law

ganja
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby ganja » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:39 pm

jselson wrote:
ganja wrote:
jk148706 wrote:
ganja wrote: I really hate the idea of waiting another cycle though.


I had no clue about law school last year, took the LSAT on a whim, got a good enough score to get into some TT with $ and almost matriculated.

Thank God I found TLS and started doing real research. I sat out last cycle, studied for the LSAT and retook last week (pretty sure I did significantly better).

Sitting out a year to better your situation can literally save you tens of thousands of dollars.

Definitely thinking about. Although I'm not a biglaw or bust kind of guy so I don't mind taking a fat scholly at a lower ranked school so long as the stips are reasonable. I also don't mind working for the state attorney or clerking for a judge my first few years out of LS before going into small law personal injury or marital law if my cousin's firm goes under water.


I don't get why people say this. Clerkships and working for the state attorney are two of the BETTER outcomes at a school like FIU, they aren't backups. I mean, just getting a job, ANY job, is one of the better outcomes from S. FL. schools.

If you already know folks in the S. FL. market, going to Duke or Vandy, or FSU or UF on full-scholarship is the best choice.

I'm not saying that's a back up plan. I'm sorry if I worded it wrong. All I'm saying is I'd love to clerk for a judge or practice small law.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby ManoftheHour » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:11 pm

Cicero76 wrote:I would suggest getting an LSAT score that gets you some money at UF/FSU and going there.


TITCR.

If you want Florida, $$$ at UF/FSU or T-14 (and maybe Vandy) are the only ways to go.

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AT9
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby AT9 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:02 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:
Cicero76 wrote:I would suggest getting an LSAT score that gets you some money at UF/FSU and going there.


TITCR.

If you want Florida, $$$ at UF/FSU or T-14 (and maybe Vandy) are the only ways to go.


I've seen this line quite a bit on TLS, but I'm curious as to why UF is recommended along with FSU as the only non-T-14 options for Florida. For as much as Law School Transparency is valued on here (rightly so, IMO), it would seem that Miami, Stetson, Nova, and FIU are comparable options to UF. I know that UF is widely considered the best university/law school in Florida, but is that all that makes it worthy of being recommended above the other schools with similar employment rates? Is it the quality of jobs or benefit of a UF degree?

This is a genuine question because, like the OP, I'm a Florida resident with connections to the legal market (though no job offer yet). UF and FSU are serious contenders for me.

ganja
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby ganja » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:10 am

AT9 wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:
Cicero76 wrote:I would suggest getting an LSAT score that gets you some money at UF/FSU and going there.


TITCR.

If you want Florida, $$$ at UF/FSU or T-14 (and maybe Vandy) are the only ways to go.


I've seen this line quite a bit on TLS, but I'm curious as to why UF is recommended along with FSU as the only non-T-14 options for Florida. For as much as Law School Transparency is valued on here (rightly so, IMO), it would seem that Miami, Stetson, Nova, and FIU are comparable options to UF. I know that UF is widely considered the best university/law school in Florida, but is that all that makes it worthy of being recommended above the other schools with similar employment rates? Is it the quality of jobs or benefit of a UF degree?

This is a genuine question because, like the OP, I'm a Florida resident with connections to the legal market (though no job offer yet). UF and FSU are serious contenders for me.

Well I would think its the quality of jobs that make the difference. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that UF and FSU students have a better shot at biglaw/more lucrative jobs. Where as students from Nova, St. Thomas FIU and even UM are mostly doing small law and are more limited with job offers. Again, correct me if I'm wrong.

ganja
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Re: South Florida Schools

Postby ganja » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:53 pm

So I just spoke with my cousin and he has offered a part time position as a "legal assistant" paying $14/hr. I already accepted and will begin in about two weeks. This comes at a great time since my other job (I work in retail) just cut my full time hours to part time. I guess I'll be getting a first hand look at how this goes!




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