« on: March 13, 2009, 11:59:28 PM »
I've got a tough choice to make about where I'm going in the near future.
Background: I'm an Army officer who was accepted to the FLEP program (basically where the Army pays for my tuition and I'm obligated to be a JAG for 6 years after passing the bar). I really want to go to the best school possible, but the poor job market for lawyers is definitely making me a bit nervous. I'm not 100% sure of what type of law I want to do yet, but I'm gravitating towards criminal or civil litigation.
Here are the options:
#1). I've been accepted to Georgetown(PT) & USC. I'm also hopeful about Cornell/Duke/Michigan panning out into an acceptance. I will probably not get anything but very minor grants to any of these schools. FLEP will not pay for these schools because they only allow up to $20K annual tuition, and I am legally not allowed to pay the remainder. Only the school can cover the rest, and like I said none of those schools will likely offer me anything more than a very minor grant. So if I did one of these, I'd have to pay my way full-freight.
#2). University of Washington, Seattle. This is the best school I got into that FLEP will pay for. I will have absolutely no student debt upon graduation and will be on active duty status during law school. As such, I will collect about $80K/year captain's pay (in addition to not paying tuition/fees), will have full health/dental for myself/family. I will also have a job in JAG waiting for me (pays about $90K/year and will not top out more than about $110K). The cons are that I would have to serve at least 6 years after graduation. I also have to spend my summers doing Army internships and would not be allowed to do a clerkship (something which interests me).
I've got to make the decision within 4 weeks(before most schools even require a deposit). That being said, I know I'm lucky to have this "problem", and I'd appreciate any input you guys have. My goals aren't necessarily to serve exclusively in the military (I've already done the Iraq/combat thing). I'd like to get either into a big firm or the USAO whether or not I go Army.
Edit: Also, in the military, I basically wouldn't have much of a choice as to where I'll be living. Could be Hawaii, Europe or DC or alternatively Northern Louisiana, Kansas, inner-Georgia. Tours are typically 3 years in length. Civilian world, I'd be interested in LA or NY.