Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: jdsilver827 on June 19, 2014, 12:28:39 PM

Title: FSU vs Wake Forest- Law Firm practice job prospects?
Post by: jdsilver827 on June 19, 2014, 12:28:39 PM
The only issue I have is which school would afford me a better chance at practice in South Florida at a large-to medium size firm. Tuition cost is not an issue, nor is which place I live in during law school (since I would not remain in either locale) I am from Pa, and intend to relocate to South Florida after school where my family now resides.
Would the higher rank of Wake Forest be more impressive to employers, or would it be a better bet to remain in Fla? (The only other school I am considering is Ohio State, but I am assuming its Midwest locale is a negative despite the schools fine reputation)
 Any insights would be appreciated.
Title: Re: FSU vs Wake Forest- Law Firm practice job prospects?
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on June 19, 2014, 01:20:06 PM
There are a ton of threads on here which discuss the impact of rankings. I would take a look at some of those.

But to address your question specifically, WF ranks #31 and FSU ranks #45. Both have good regional/local reputations, but neither is an elite institution. Whichever one you choose, you won't really be able to rely on your pedigree to land a job the way you would if you attended Harvard or Yale.

I don't live in south Florida, but I doubt if most employers are going to give a serious edge to a WF grad over an FSU grad based on rankings. Between these two schools, you should focus on which one has the best alumni connections and internship opportunities in south Florida. The ability to make personal connections within the local legal market will probably matter a lot more than the school's specific rank. 

You should also be looking at U Miami, Florida Intl, and Univ of Florida.

As far as OSU, I don't think that would be a very good option if you intend to live in south Florida. It will be very difficult to gain internships and make connections if you're in Columbus, and I doubt if many Florida law firms recruit on campus.

When you're talking about non-elite schools things like location, alumni connections and local reputation matter a lot more than national rankings. Be sure to take those things into consideration along with rankings. 
Title: Re: FSU vs Wake Forest- Law Firm practice job prospects?
Post by: Miami88 on June 19, 2014, 04:48:17 PM
Between the two, FSU since you know you want to work in FL. Why have you narrowed it down to just those two though? I would second what Maintain said, expand your scope to UMiami, UF, and FIU. If you want to work specifically in Miami, strongly consider UMiami and FIU. If you want to live by Ft. Lauderdale, also consider Nova.

Like Maintain said, outside of the top 14 schools, where your law school is located will play a much more significant role in your job search. So, if you know you want to work/live in a specific area, go to a school that feeds into that market. Since you want to live in South Florida, I would recommend applying to all of the T14, Vanderbilt, Emory, and all of the Florida schools. Anything other than those schools would not really help you in your future job search.

Good luck!
Title: Re: FSU vs Wake Forest- Law Firm practice job prospects?
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on June 20, 2014, 11:56:13 AM
FSU for all the foregoing reasons.
Title: Re: FSU vs Wake Forest- Law Firm practice job prospects?
Post by: Citylaw on June 20, 2014, 04:52:54 PM
If you want to live in Florida then attend law school in Florida it is that simple.

However, the location where you attend law school is important. Every 0L myself included back at that time assumes law school will be so difficult that they will not have time for anything else and more importantly that once they graduate you can just go wherever you want.

Both are false law school is essentially the prime of your life and where you spend three years of your life is a very important decision. More importantly there is a substantial chance you will end up around the area you attended law school for both personal and professional reasons.

In law school you will make friends, likely enter into a serious relationship or solidify a pre-existing one, you will get an apartment and essentially build a life for three years, which can be difficult to leave. People do it of course, but on my first day of law school many people came from all over the country with a number of ideas that they would return to X place, but for the most part didn't happen. They obtained internships built connections etc near our law school, took the California Bar, and got jobs through their law school connections, or stayed due to a relationship they entered, etc.

There  are exceptions of course, but you should be sure you want to live in Tallahassee Florida for three years, because where you spend that time is important.

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a law school and one of the least important ones is the rankings. It is a magazine offering an opinion and should not be the basis of a life altering decision.

Here is a good article offering some insight on how to choose a law school.

There is of course no right answer to the question, but use your common sense and do not let a for-profit unregulated magazine make a life altering decision for you.

Good luck in your pursuit of a legal education.
Title: Re: FSU vs Wake Forest- Law Firm practice job prospects?
Post by: barprephero on June 20, 2014, 08:25:33 PM
I take it that you plan to live with family to commute from their home and avoid paying rent while in school?
Title: Re: FSU vs Wake Forest- Law Firm practice job prospects?
Post by: loki13 on March 18, 2015, 11:02:13 AM
Been a long time away.... quick facts- UF Law grad, FSU hater (it's in the blood), and practice in S. Fla.

That said, go to FSU. Period. It's not even close. While I am sure that there is a Wake Forest grad somewhere in S. Fla. (I've met grads from every law school), your life will be 100x easier if you choose FSU. If you had to do it over again, you might have wanted to think of UF or UMiami (local connections!). But you gave two choices.

FSU is some distance from South Florida, and it isn't ideal, but it still has vastly superior alum resources. And people in S. Fla. know FSU, and will respond positively instead of saying, "Um, isn't that the basketball place?"

Outside of the T14, nobody cares about a few spots in the rankings.
Title: Re: FSU vs Wake Forest- Law Firm practice job prospects?
Post by: Citylaw on March 26, 2015, 06:28:16 PM
Great post above and it really is that simple if your goal is to end up in Florida go to school in Florida. One other pro of a number of Florida schools is in-state tuition if you can obtain that it will be a substantial savings.

To sum it up if your goal is to end up in Florida do not attend Wake Forest over a law school in Florida.

Good luck.