Thanks for all the help guys! Well, the most important factors for me to go to GSU is that a) I want to stay in Atlanta b) I have NO want to go into Big Law and c) I am poor. I will still keep emory as a contender, but there are just so many pluses to GSU. I have a good chance at a full scholarship, I would probably succeed more there as opposed to Emory, they have incredible externships w/ judges and DA's offices (I want to be a prosecutor for a while after I pass the BAR. Well if anyone has any more insights, please do tell, but you all have been wonderful!
Couple of thoughts:
If PI/prosecutorial work is your goal, and you wish to stay in Atlanta, and you are poor, Emory over Georgia State might be a big mistake. As a 1L, let me give you my reasons why.
First. Once you get out of the top 40, law schools are completely regional in nature. If you go to Temple, you will start out in Philly, if you go to U. Oregon, you will start out in the NW, Depaul, start in Chicago, Suffolk start in southern NE, etc... If you know for sure you want to stay in Atlanta for the first few years, it makes little difference whether you go to a top 30 school or not, provided that Georgia State is well-respeted, which I believe it is.
Second, The biggest obstacle to PI work is not pedigree of school, it's debt. Plain and simple. You cannot rack up 150K in loans, which adds up to about $1500 per month after graduation, on a salary of 45K or 50K, even with LRAP, the details of which can be deceiveing ("up to 10K a yr" means you DON'T actually get 10K). The math simply does not work. That's why free rides are such a great thing
That being said, don't for a minute think that higher ranked schools are tougher; often the opposite is true. Tier 2s and 3s (like mine) have a much harsher grading curve than at Tier 1s...this is one of the reasons that getting in is the hard part. Harvard has something like a b+ curve! Their legal writing class is pass/fail...C'mon! My school (Albany) has a b-/C+ curve and is therefore it is VERY difficult to get all A's. But employers are starting to realize that grads from my school really hit the ground running, as opposed to Yale kids who can barely open a book.
That's my two cents...Be wary of this site because most of these testimonials are written by well-meaning kids who nonetheless HAVE NOT YET BEEN TO LAW SCHOOL...they honestly have no idea, no offense to them. But they will learn...mmmwwwuuuhahahaha!!!