I could really use some convincing advice,
I just recently applied to and received an admission offer from the Michigan State University College of Law.
I am a 34 year old ex-engineer/ex-commercial banker with an MBA who is looking to make a career change into IP Law (Both UHLC & MSU are nationally ranked in this filed).
These were the only two schools I applied to for fall 2009 admission.
My undergraduate Engineering degree and my MBA are both from MSU (so I'm a little more partial to diversifying my law school choice).
I do not necessarily care about going to work in NYC or DC BigLaw after graduation, I just want to be given an opportunity to go to work for a mid-sized to large IP Law firm.
MSU offered me a 50% tuition scholarship the first year with an opportunity and liklihood to offer 100% scholarship the remaining 2 years of school. This essentially means I can much more likely graduate from MSU with relatively little or no debt.
UHLC currently has me on their waitlist, but odds are that I will probably be offered admission there as well, but with virtually no financial scholarship assistance (which means taking out more student loans).
MSU is a Tier-3 school (ranked #110 nationally) with a top 20 ranking within the field of IP Law.
UHLC is a lower Tier 1 school (ranked #59 nationally) with a top 7 ranking within the field of IP Law.
MSU is a private institution - $31K/year tuition
UHLC is a public school - $18K/year in-state vs. $26K/year out-of-state (would only be out-of-state for 1 year though)
I currently have about $100K in existing student loan debt.
Both schools place a large number of grads within their respective regions. Although I am a little more partial with the notion of living and working in a city like Houston, TX (or other parts of the southeast for that matter) after graduation as opposed to living and working in the Midwest.
So it looks like it basically comes down to attending a higher-ranked school thats also located in a more desirable Big City, which means better prospects in that particular job market....BUT with the expectation of incurring about $60K of additional student loan debt
Attending a lower ranked tier 3 school that also happens to be where I attended for both undergrad and my MBA experiences, while also being in a region of the country where my job prospects might not be as promising in terms of coming from a program where the school's national reputation/higher starting salary prospects may not be as likely.....BUT with virtually little or no DEBT.
Any suggestions anyone??
Thanks and sorry for the long post!
(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2012)
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