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Messages - mg1185

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Hello, I have recently migrated to LSD from TLS, where I have spent the past several weeks reading about how law school will surely ruin my life. I'm hoping to receive some constructive advice regarding my options and, after looking through a number of LSD threads, it seems that is a bit more likely to happen here. My goal is not to be wealthy. I am not looking for 80 hr work weeks or a huge salary. I want to be a lawyer because I feel that the law is the most practical way possible to help people in a tangible way and make a real difference in society. I love problem-solving, researching, thinking... This is something I want because I believe that the job itself will be rewarding, not because of the financial 'return on my investment'. That being said, I aim to minimize my debt as much as possible, as I do not want to be limited in my career by a need to receive a higher salary to pay back my loans.

I have applied to a number of schools in varying areas of the country. I currently live in Buffalo, NY and have family both on Long Island (my family) and in FL (my partner's family). Being closer to family would be nice, but is not a necessity. We've lived far from them for almost a decade and have been able to make it work. My partner and I are looking to relocate long term, and a large part of my application process has been guided by where we would like to live. We would like to leave Buffalo, as the economy here is in pretty bad shape and jobs are hard to come by for us both. It seems that staying here would likely be limiting, and we would both have better opportunities elsewhere. I am beginning to receive acceptance notifications from many schools, and am still awaiting scholarship details for most. Figuring out the financial aspect, then, will be the next stage in narrowing down my options, as my goal is to minimize my debt as much as possible without sacrificing opportunities.

The schools I have applied to thus far are:

American-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Brooklyn-- accepted, $20k per year, top 80% stipulation
SUNY Buffalo-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Cardozo-- pending
Chicago-Kent-- pending
DePaul-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Georgia State University-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
University of Connecticut-- pending
University of Minnesota-- waitlisted
Northeastern-- accepted, $10k per year, "remain in good academic standing" is the only stipulation
University of Pittsburgh-- pending
University of Georgia-- pending

At this point, although I am very much attracted to Brooklyn for a number of reasons, I do not feel it would be a wise decision based on the debt I will incur between tuition and COL in NY, and the inevitably stiff competition I will face in NY from NYU, Columbia, and T14 students, along with Fordham, Cardozo, St. John's, CUNY... it seems that attending a middle of the road school in such a competitive market would not be a smart move. I have heard that scholarship amounts are often increased as students withdraw, so I am holding out to see what happens. As it stands, I do not plan on attending unless there is a substantial increase to my scholarship.

I also likely plan on withdrawing from Northeastern for similar reasons- Boston is also an expensive city to live in with quite a bit of competition, and because I am wary of their "no grades" system- With those reservations, and a mere $10k per year scholarship, I do not feel that it would be worth accumulating such substantial debt to attend.

I have similar reservations about my options in Chicago, in terms of competition and COL.

Firstly, then- does my assessment of the above schools seem accurate? Are there other considerations I should be taking into account? And secondly, of the remaining schools... any advice/recommendations?

I also recently received a response on my application to University of Minnesota. I have been waitlisted. My GPA is 3.38, LSAT 161. I am below both medians, and believe it is likely my work experience, personal statement, and strong LORs which kept me from being outright rejected. I have been working on a LOCI to send to them, and intend to submit it via e-mail within the next week. I am concerned, however, that being accepted from the waitlist may mean that I will not receive substantial scholarship money.

My questions, then, regarding University of Minnesota:
1) How likely is it, when being admitted off of the waitlist, that I will also be offered a scholarship?
2) Would attending University of Minnesota, even at a higher cost, be a better decision than attending a lower-ranked school for less money? (In terms of employment opportunities, education, mobility, etc.).

It is the highest ranked school to which I have applied- but what that mean enough in terms of opportunity that it would be worth spending more to attend there? I would be happy to live in Minneapolis, at least for quite a while, but would relocating from there be difficult? In looking at Law School Transparency, it does seem that graduates have had some luck in moving to a variety of areas throughout the country- is this typical?

Any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

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