Best Law Schools for Employment in Florida

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MohawkMonk87
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Best Law Schools for Employment in Florida

Postby MohawkMonk87 » Sun May 10, 2015 12:00 pm

Hello TLS, first post here!

Currently serving in the Army and looking to earn a JD with my GI Bill when I leave active duty a couple years from now. The wife and I are decided on moving to Central Florida (Tampa or Orlando areas) and I am curious as to which schools have favorable employment outcomes in Florida. Given that Florida has some respectable (U Florida/FSU/Stetson etc.) but not necessarily powerhouse law schools I am thinking some of their big law hires come from Vanderbilt, Emory etc?

Many Thanks!

PS: I have a solid GPA (3.74) and some good soft factors (Military Exp, govt-certified ME region language proficiency, masters degrees in religion and psychology) but know how little this matters without an LSAT. I am a relatively good test taker and believe t25, maybe t14 will be a possibility.

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BasilHallward
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Re: Best Law Schools for Employment in Florida

Postby BasilHallward » Sun May 10, 2015 12:33 pm

MohawkMonk87 wrote:Hello TLS, first post here!

Currently serving in the Army and looking to earn a JD with my GI Bill when I leave active duty a couple years from now. The wife and I are decided on moving to Central Florida (Tampa or Orlando areas) and I am curious as to which schools have favorable employment outcomes in Florida. Given that Florida has some respectable (U Florida/FSU/Stetson etc.) but not necessarily powerhouse law schools I am thinking some of their big law hires come from Vanderbilt, Emory etc?

Many Thanks!

PS: I have a solid GPA (3.74) and some good soft factors (Military Exp, govt-certified ME region language proficiency, masters degrees in religion and psychology) but know how little this matters without an LSAT. I am a relatively good test taker and believe t25, maybe t14 will be a possibility.


Correction from the bolded above: Masters degree means nothing without an LSAT. Take the LSAT and nail it. Don't do a disservice to your stellar GPA. If you are looking to stay in Central FL longterm, Vandy, Emory, FSU, UF, and Duke (if you kill the LSAT) are all good options with substantial scholarship.

Edited for clarity: Forgot you have the GI Bill. Living stipends should be in order for these schools.

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nothingtosee
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Re: Best Law Schools for Employment in Florida

Postby nothingtosee » Sun May 10, 2015 12:37 pm

MohawkMonk87 wrote:Hello TLS, first post here!

Currently serving in the Army and looking to earn a JD with my GI Bill when I leave active duty a couple years from now. The wife and I are decided on moving to Central Florida (Tampa or Orlando areas) and I am curious as to which schools have favorable employment outcomes in Florida. Given that Florida has some respectable (U Florida/FSU/Stetson etc.) but not necessarily powerhouse law schools I am thinking some of their big law hires come from Vanderbilt, Emory etc?

Many Thanks!

PS: I have a solid GPA (3.74) and some good soft factors (Military Exp, govt-certified ME region language proficiency, masters degrees in religion and psychology) but know how little this matters without an LSAT. I am a relatively good test taker and believe t25, maybe t14 will be a possibility.


Play around on this site:http://www.lstscorereports.com/state/FL/

There are no slam-dunk law schools in Florida: UF/Miami/FSU all put you at a 2 in 3 chance of being a lawyer. It might also be worth looking at Vandy, UVA, and Duke - three Southern(ish) schools where almost everyone becomes a lawyer. Emory has the same outcomes as UF/Miami/FSU, except they don't place as well in Florida.

Word on the street is it's generally an extremely tough market to crack. Lots of bodies for not many jobs.

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abogadesq
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Re: Best Law Schools for Employment in Florida

Postby abogadesq » Tue May 12, 2015 1:00 pm

No Florida law school will give you a decisive advantage over the others in Central Florida. Generally, UM is "helpful" in the Miami market, FSU in the Panhandle, Stetson in the Tampa Bay area, and UF in applying to some high-end firms (e.g. Holland & Knight). There are also West Palm-Boca firms that hire a lot of Nova and St. Thomas grads. But Central Florida firms don't gravitate to one school or the other; Barry and Ave Maria are all relatively new schools and so they don't have a well-established alumni network, FAMU being the exception. The region is pretty diverse.

I almost regret generalizing about the regional markets in Florida because I really don't see much of a difference in the perception of Florida schools. UF is a T1 school and the best in Florida yet UF grads face just as good odds as an FIU law grad with the same work experience, IMO. If you really want to work in Central Florida, the best thing to do is to network there through CLI/externships and clerkships. What Florida school you went to won't matter much.

Biglaw is a whole other ballgame. Unless you graduate at the top ~7% at a Florida school (even UF), your chances at Biglaw are low going to a Florida school. Even then, I knew one guy who graduated the top of his class at a TTT Florida school and got no Biglaw offers. If you want to work at a Biglaw firm in Florida, your best bet is to go to a T14 (which necessarily means outside of Florida) and return to Florida after law school.

As for Biglaw hires in Florida offices, I have heard them interviewing people from UVA, George Washington, Vanderbuilt, and the occasional Florida grad. I have no Biglaw experience but I have talked to students who went through the interviewing process here in Florida and met other applicants. Almost all of them are out-of-state.
Last edited by abogadesq on Tue May 12, 2015 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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baal hadad
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Re: Best Law Schools for Employment in Florida

Postby baal hadad » Tue May 12, 2015 1:37 pm

Yale

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Best Law Schools for Employment in Florida

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Tue May 12, 2015 4:10 pm

with those softs/GPA and GI Bill id go T14, if youre borderline T14 maybe ED UVA

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jbagelboy
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Re: Best Law Schools for Employment in Florida

Postby jbagelboy » Tue May 12, 2015 4:21 pm

Honestly, if I was serious about targeting large firms in a very restricted market like this, I'd go to HLS and just spend as much time in FL as possible (smoozing over breaks, summers)

UF/Emory/ect is just too big a risk

MohawkMonk87
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Re: Best Law Schools for Employment in Florida

Postby MohawkMonk87 » Tue May 12, 2015 9:53 pm

Thanks for all the replies based on the info I've received this is my school list (feel free to critique/comment/etc).

Reaches (GPA is a bit low for them, but I have my masters already from HY so it might give me a bump if I do well on the LSAT)
Yale
Harvard
Columbia

Targets
U Virginia
Duke
Cornell
Georgetown
Vanderbilt

Safeties
Emory
Stetson
Florida State

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baal hadad
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Re: Best Law Schools for Employment in Florida

Postby baal hadad » Wed May 13, 2015 3:27 pm

MohawkMonk87 wrote:Thanks for all the replies based on the info I've received this is my school list (feel free to critique/comment/etc).

Reaches (GPA is a bit low for them, but I have my masters already from HY so it might give me a bump if I do well on the LSAT)
Yale
Harvard
Columbia

Targets
U Virginia
Duke
Cornell
Georgetown
Vanderbilt

Safeties
Emory
Stetson
Florida State

You don't have an LSAT so you don't know if anything is a reach, target, or safety yet

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Cicero76
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Re: Best Law Schools for Employment in Florida

Postby Cicero76 » Wed May 13, 2015 10:23 pm

baal hadad wrote:Yale


I had a surprisingly hard time getting hired in Florida.

It's a rough market. Caveat emptor, OP

CanadianWolf
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Re: Best Law Schools for Employment in Florida

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed May 13, 2015 10:54 pm

Stetson admissions is a less than polite office. Stetson placement is not good. In short, unless you want to open a solo practice or work in a very small firm, avoid Stetson even if offered a substantial scholarship.

Browse through Holland & Knight's attorney profiles for a bit of guidance on law school selection.

Florida law schools seem to have a tough time regarding "job placement by graduation" even in Florida.

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King Dong
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Re: Best Law Schools for Employment in Florida

Postby King Dong » Thu May 14, 2015 9:38 am

Most of the young associates that have been hired in at the three firms I've worked for in Tampa all come from Stetson. Granted, they're hired in at around 50-60k to sign foreclosure and bankruptcy docs all day.

In most cases, anyone above an associate position has usually gone to a more prestigious school. One exception, though, is the owner of my last firm went to Stetson. FWIW, that place is underwater and has laid off 80% of its employees

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TasmanianToucan
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Re: Best Law Schools for Employment in Florida

Postby TasmanianToucan » Thu May 14, 2015 9:56 am

Study hard for the LSAT and kick its ass.

The question of which schools positions you best for the Florida market is entirely determined by which schools you can get into. IF you can get into HYS, there's your answer right there.




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