Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

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chance79

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Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby chance79 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:05 pm

Hello everyone, I am torn as to whether I should attend a higher ranked school and take on the debt or attend an unranked school for free. I currently live in Miami so a lot of lower level FL schools are options.

My stats: USF Honors College - 3.7- dual degree history and political science- I am a Hispanic female( although I don't think this makes much of a difference, I figured I should include it). LSAT 151, then 154.
I know my LSAT numbers are not strong and unfortunately retaking next year is not an option because of time restraints. I am not 100 percent sure which field of law I plan to pursue but I am leaning towards something within the healthcare industry. Possibly medical malpractice( I know this answer is vague but unfortunately its as much as I know right now).

My acceptances and rewards so far are
Stetson- 5k a year
St Johns- 30k a year- conditional renewal must be in top 60%
American- no $
Brooklyn- 12k a year - conditional renewal must be in top 80z%
St. Thomas FL- Full ride
ave maria - full ride
barry - full ride
famu - 75 percent

Whatever is not covered in scholarships will be paid for in federal loans.
Waitlisted at UM and UF. Still waiting on FIU as well.

Thank you in advance for your answers. I dont have any lawyers in my friends/family so I am really looking to this online community for advice. Thank you :)

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Thomas Hagan, ESQ.

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby Thomas Hagan, ESQ. » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:11 pm

To be quite honest, the ranked schools you listed aren't ranked high enough for it to make too much of a difference, ESPECIALLY if you're going to have to pay close to sticker.

DO NOT, under any circumstances, take Stetson, St. John's (conditional scholarship is a no-no), Brooklyn, or American.

The best advice is obviously to wait and retake. Assuming that your "time constraint" is merely you just thinking that you have to go to law school right away and move on with your life, you definitely should retake. If you have a legitimate reason as to why you can't wait another year to attend a law school that gives you more than a 50% chance to become an actual lawyer, then I guess you should at least go to school for free.

cavalier1138

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:12 pm

When you say "Hispanic", can you be more specific? It can make a real difference in terms of whether you're considered a URM for admissions purposes.

I'm also very confused about what your "time restraints" are. There is literally no situation I can think of which would prevent someone from waiting a year to go to law school. I can imagine plenty of situations where someone would have to delay going, but I have no idea what could be going on in your life that would make going to law school this year an absolute priority.

And the reason I'm focused on that is that you have no good options. You can cross off every non-FL school, and if you want to be a practicing lawyer, you shouldn't even be considering the schools where you've been offered a decent scholarship. If you can't retake, then don't go to law school under these circumstances. It will be a waste of your time and money.

chance79

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby chance79 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:17 pm

Thomas Hagan, ESQ. wrote:To be quite honest, the ranked schools you listed aren't ranked high enough for it to make too much of a difference, ESPECIALLY if you're going to have to pay close to sticker.

DO NOT, under any circumstances, take Stetson, St. John's (conditional scholarship is a no-no), Brooklyn, or American.

The best advice is obviously to wait and retake. Assuming that your "time constraint" is merely you just thinking that you have to go to law school right away and move on with your life, you definitely should retake. If you have a legitimate reason as to why you can't wait another year to attend a law school that gives you more than a 50% chance to become an actual lawyer, then I guess you should at least go to school for free.


Thank you, do you think you could explain why conditional scholarships are a nono. I have heard mixed responses. And is 50% an arbitrary number or legitimately the only prospects I have? ( not asking sarcastically)

chance79

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby chance79 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:21 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:When you say "Hispanic", can you be more specific? It can make a real difference in terms of whether you're considered a URM for admissions purposes.

I'm also very confused about what your "time restraints" are. There is literally no situation I can think of which would prevent someone from waiting a year to go to law school. I can imagine plenty of situations where someone would have to delay going, but I have no idea what could be going on in your life that would make going to law school this year an absolute priority.

And the reason I'm focused on that is that you have no good options. You can cross off every non-FL school, and if you want to be a practicing lawyer, you shouldn't even be considering the schools where you've been offered a decent scholarship. If you can't retake, then don't go to law school under these circumstances. It will be a waste of your time and money.

I am Cuban- American. My time constraints are mainly because I am taking care of elderly family members and the sooner I can finish my degree, the sooner I can go back to assist with care. For my time in law school I have arranged for another family member to watch over them, but her availability to help is also on a time restrain because she will be leaving the state in three years. Sorry if this is too specific but its the only way I could elaborate on the time restriction.

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Thomas Hagan, ESQ.

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby Thomas Hagan, ESQ. » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:29 pm

chance79 wrote:
Thomas Hagan, ESQ. wrote:To be quite honest, the ranked schools you listed aren't ranked high enough for it to make too much of a difference, ESPECIALLY if you're going to have to pay close to sticker.

DO NOT, under any circumstances, take Stetson, St. John's (conditional scholarship is a no-no), Brooklyn, or American.

The best advice is obviously to wait and retake. Assuming that your "time constraint" is merely you just thinking that you have to go to law school right away and move on with your life, you definitely should retake. If you have a legitimate reason as to why you can't wait another year to attend a law school that gives you more than a 50% chance to become an actual lawyer, then I guess you should at least go to school for free.


Thank you, do you think you could explain why conditional scholarships are a nono. I have heard mixed responses. And is 50% an arbitrary number or legitimately the only prospects I have? ( not asking sarcastically)


Conditional scholarships are a no-no simply due to law school grade curves. If law school grading systems gave out as many As and Bs to students who deserve them, then conditional scholarships would be simple (work hard and keep your money). However, since only a certain percentage of students will receive As (even if, for example, everyone scored really well on their exams), there is absolute certainty that a large portion of students receiving scholarships for the first year will lose that scholarship for their second & third year. Remember, EVERYONE will be busting ass to retain their conditional scholarships. Keeping your conditional scholarship is, in a large part, out of your hands. You don't want that. These scholarships are kind of smokescreens for schools to make you think they're being generous, but in the end, they'll get the money they want from their students.

Check out LST reports:

Only 29% of 2015 Barry Law graduates become lawyers upon graduation.
https://www.lstreports.com/schools/barry/

Only 35% of 2015 Ave Maria graduates become lawyers upon graduation.
https://www.lstreports.com/schools/avemaria/

Only 38% of 2015 St. Thomas graduates become lawyers upon graduation.
https://www.lstreports.com/schools/stu/

That's less than a coin-toss chance...

A couple of points on your LSAT can literally open doors (not only to the schools themselves but the doors to employment). With a 158+ you will be accepted to Florida AND with money. A jump from 154 to 158 is ABSOLUTELY doable. Don't leave all of this on the table just because you wanted to hurry up and make a decision. Sometimes, waiting will give you a better chance of becoming a lawyer than rushing to law school.

Florida: 76%
https://www.lstreports.com/schools/florida/



Lastly, would you be willing to be HEAVILY indebted to these schools? I'm talking HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of dollars.
https://www.lstreports.com/schools/stetson/

https://www.lstreports.com/schools/american/
Last edited by Thomas Hagan, ESQ. on Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chicagoburger

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby chicagoburger » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:31 pm

chance79 wrote:Hello everyone, I am torn as to whether I should attend a higher ranked school and take on the debt or attend an unranked school for free. I currently live in Miami so a lot of lower level FL schools are options.

My stats: USF Honors College - 3.7- dual degree history and political science- I am a Hispanic female( although I don't think this makes much of a difference, I figured I should include it). LSAT 151, then 154.
I know my LSAT numbers are not strong and unfortunately retaking next year is not an option because of time restraints. I am not 100 percent sure which field of law I plan to pursue but I am leaning towards something within the healthcare industry. Possibly medical malpractice( I know this answer is vague but unfortunately its as much as I know right now).

My acceptances and rewards so far are
Stetson- 5k a year
St Johns- 30k a year- conditional renewal must be in top 60%
American- no $
Brooklyn- 12k a year - conditional renewal must be in top 80z%
St. Thomas FL- Full ride
ave maria - full ride
barry - full ride
famu - 75 percent

Whatever is not covered in scholarships will be paid for in federal loans.
Waitlisted at UM and UF. Still waiting on FIU as well.

Thank you in advance for your answers. I dont have any lawyers in my friends/family so I am really looking to this online community for advice. Thank you :)


I would pick St. John's.
1. Conditional scholarship is still in your favor: your first year 30k is guaranteed and 60% chance renewal after that.
2. St. John's ranks highest on your list.
3. Even if you lose your scholarship after 1st year at St. John's, it's still not worse financially than the other similarly ranked schools on your list.

cavalier1138

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:34 pm

chance79 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:When you say "Hispanic", can you be more specific? It can make a real difference in terms of whether you're considered a URM for admissions purposes.

I'm also very confused about what your "time restraints" are. There is literally no situation I can think of which would prevent someone from waiting a year to go to law school. I can imagine plenty of situations where someone would have to delay going, but I have no idea what could be going on in your life that would make going to law school this year an absolute priority.

And the reason I'm focused on that is that you have no good options. You can cross off every non-FL school, and if you want to be a practicing lawyer, you shouldn't even be considering the schools where you've been offered a decent scholarship. If you can't retake, then don't go to law school under these circumstances. It will be a waste of your time and money.

I am Cuban- American. My time constraints are mainly because I am taking care of elderly family members and the sooner I can finish my degree, the sooner I can go back to assist with care. For my time in law school I have arranged for another family member to watch over them, but her availability to help is also on a time restrain because she will be leaving the state in three years. Sorry if this is too specific but its the only way I could elaborate on the time restriction.


My understanding is that Cubans generally don't get a URM boost, but there seems to be some debate over that.

But here's the thing: if you're going to be assisting with family care after school, how are you going to be working as a full-time lawyer? Even at a small firm, you need to put in serious hours. Taking care of your family is admirable, but if you want to have a full-time career of any kind, you may want to consider professional care as a long-term solution, because you can't realistically do anything with your life (not just law school) if you're going to have that responsibility hanging over your head at all times.

P.S. Don't listen to @chicagoburger. Conditional scholarships are the worst, and St. John's is an awful school that won't get you a job in FL.

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Thomas Hagan, ESQ.

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby Thomas Hagan, ESQ. » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:36 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
chance79 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:When you say "Hispanic", can you be more specific? It can make a real difference in terms of whether you're considered a URM for admissions purposes.

I'm also very confused about what your "time restraints" are. There is literally no situation I can think of which would prevent someone from waiting a year to go to law school. I can imagine plenty of situations where someone would have to delay going, but I have no idea what could be going on in your life that would make going to law school this year an absolute priority.

And the reason I'm focused on that is that you have no good options. You can cross off every non-FL school, and if you want to be a practicing lawyer, you shouldn't even be considering the schools where you've been offered a decent scholarship. If you can't retake, then don't go to law school under these circumstances. It will be a waste of your time and money.

I am Cuban- American. My time constraints are mainly because I am taking care of elderly family members and the sooner I can finish my degree, the sooner I can go back to assist with care. For my time in law school I have arranged for another family member to watch over them, but her availability to help is also on a time restrain because she will be leaving the state in three years. Sorry if this is too specific but its the only way I could elaborate on the time restriction.


My understanding is that Cubans generally don't get a URM boost, but there seems to be some debate over that.

But here's the thing: if you're going to be assisting with family care after school, how are you going to be working as a full-time lawyer? Even at a small firm, you need to put in serious hours. Taking care of your family is admirable, but if you want to have a full-time career of any kind, you may want to consider professional care as a long-term solution, because you can't realistically do anything with your life (not just law school) if you're going to have that responsibility hanging over your head at all times.

P.S. Don't listen to @chicagoburger. Conditional scholarships are the worst, and St. John's is an awful school that won't get you a job in FL.


Do not listen to chicagoburger.

First of all, according to your situation, you need to be in FLorida. You have a VERY low chance of becoming a lawyer in Florida with a St. John's degree. In fact, I would cross off every single non-florida school off your list since you need to be in Florida. All of the schools in your list are regional schools and you should only think about attending them if you want to practice law in the area where the school is located.

chance79

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby chance79 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:48 pm

Thank you for your responses everyone. They are much appreciated.

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby Rigo » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:35 pm

Retake for FSU/UF/UMiami at the very least. You have a decent GPA. Don't waste it.

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby us3rnam3 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:21 pm

Rigo wrote:Retake for FSU/UF/UMiami at the very least. You have a decent GPA. Don't waste it.


Agreed. You have a good GPA, study some more for the lsat retake it and reapply to the best schools in Florida since you know thats where you want to be.

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Thomas Hagan, ESQ.

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby Thomas Hagan, ESQ. » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:25 pm

us3rnam3 wrote:
Rigo wrote:Retake for FSU/UF/UMiami at the very least. You have a decent GPA. Don't waste it.


Agreed. You have a good GPA, study some more for the lsat retake it and reapply to the best schools in Florida since you know thats where you want to be.


+1.

OP, forgot the mention in my earlier post, but you have a great GPA that can get you into the best schools in Florida.

chicagoburger

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby chicagoburger » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:52 pm

OP said that retake is not an option.

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby us3rnam3 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:54 pm

chicagoburger wrote:OP said that retake is not an option.


As someone who is dreading reapplying to schools and retaking the lsat, I think its always an option. You don't want to do it but you also dont want to pay sticker price at a school. And you really dont want to go to the schools that gave her money.

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big_willy_style_333

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby big_willy_style_333 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:02 pm

3 separate posts about basically the same thing in one day. nice

chance79

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby chance79 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:01 pm

big_willy_style_333 wrote:3 separate posts about basically the same thing in one day. nice


If my posts are such an issue, then please don't respond to them. Problem solved. I posted seperately about a concern I had with the Bar.

chance79

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Re: Need advice on law school decision(NY and FL schools mainly)

Postby chance79 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:02 pm

Thank you everyone. I guess I might have to consider working out family issues and possibly retaking.



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