« on: April 13, 2006, 10:27:28 AM »
I know I've posted this before, but this was a few months ago when I first narrowed my choices down to these two schools. I'm going to lay out my dilemma for all y'all...I obviously have to put down my seat deposit tomorrow.
I'm a homegrown Reno boy, graduated from the University of Nevada, also spent some brief 4- and 2-month stints in SoCal and D.C., respectively. As such, my roots are here. My family is here. My closest friends are here. And, to an extent, part of me wants to be a big fish in a smaller pond like Reno. Logical choice? Pacific McGeorge in Sacramento, considered a minor league affiliate of the Nevada Bar Association.
On the flipside, I don't want to be a provincial townie for life. For the last 2-3 years of undergrad, I had my heart set on heading back East to broaden my horizons. I did so to an extent working for an NPO at Dupont Circle in D.C. last summer. Now, I want to be able to say I lived and breathed the capital for 3 years, soaked up the lifestyle of the East Coast, and was able to make connections in federal politics in D.C., maybe work at the Capitol as a law intern. My mom lives in Philadelphia, my best friend in NYC, and I have a number of friends from the summer still living in the D.C. area. Plus, as a U.S. history nerd, you just can't beat D.C. Logical choice? WCL at American, with a great emphasis on public policy and federal law.
Ultimately, my career options look like they are down to two: appellate advocacy and public policy.
The pros at McGeorge are that they are offering a very handsome financial aid package ($15,000/year scholarship, the rest of C.O.A. in low-interest federal loans) and housing, I can come home to Reno on some weekends (only a 2-hour drive), I'd easily be able to land a job in Nevada when I graduate, and they have solid programs in the things I'm interested in. Moot court teams regularly win regional and national competitions against the Temples of the world, and they have a Governmental Affairs certification program in conjunction with the California State Legislature. The major con, for me, is that it's in Sacramento, a city I honestly can't see myself living in for 3 years. Actually, the thought of living in Sac is downright depressing.
The pros at American are pretty obviously stated. It's higher ranked than McGeorge. It's in a city I would LOVE to live in for 3 years. The people are friendly. The law clinics are 2nd only to GULC, the campus is beautiful, and it really is the dream school. The cons are that they are offering very little money (just a Stafford loan), cost of living in D.C./Maryland is astronomical, and I'd have to take out a sizable private loan (roughly $35K/year) to do it. I know AU would potentially limit me to the D.C. area job market upon graduation, but I'd like to obtain an A.U. education, do internships in Reno or Carson City over the summers, and then try and come back to Nevada as an AU grad.
In a nutshell, I know that practically, McGeorge would more easily get me back to Nevada if that's what I truly desire. However, I think I'd be okay with living for a few years after graduation in D.C. in order to avoid having to live in Sacramento for 3 years.
What would any of you guys advise? Seat deposits due tomorrow, and I've already got my finger on one of these buttons.