First, I am a transfer student with applications out to UF and Emory. I am anticipating an acceptance to both because I finished my tier 4 1L year in the top 5%, and possibly the top 2%. I also have significant professional work experience. I am a Florida resident, so I understand that if I intend to practice in Florida, I should choose UF. I have personal reasons to stay here, such as family, and I do like the state.
I look at 11 law schools in Florida, pumping out tier 4 students, and I look at the state of our economy in Florida, which is heavily dependent on the housing industry and tourism, and I have to wonder if Atlanta and Emory is a wiser choice for the future. Some points for explanation:
- -The Florida bar has over 3 times the active membership as the Georgia bar.
-The Florida law schools are producing roughly 2,300 students per year to roughly 1,000 in Georgia.
-Although there appears to be roughly 2X as many job postings in Florida, the biggest market in Florida is Miami which I have no intention of practicing in.
-From my research it appears that Georgia's economy is overall doing better than Florida, and Atlanta continues to be a strong secondary market.
-I have a wife and child and I have no intention of accepting a position at biglaw so that I can still know my family.
-I understand that a degree from Florida has very little play out of the state.
-I understand a degree from Emory has some play throughout the southeast.
-Florida tuition is $15,000.
-Emory tuition is $45,000.
So I am faced with two choices: go to UF and try for a Florida job outside of Miami and pay very little tuition, or go to Emory and open up my job prospects around the southeast but pay close to $60,000 in -additional- tuition.
Can you help me decide, TLS gurus? Would my refusal to work at biglaw mean that the tuition at Emory would destroy my earning power? Or is this counterbalanced by the regional job opportunities afforded by Emory?