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Where should I go next fall? / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: July 15, 2014, 02:59:13 PM »
Again many thanks to all the people on this forum your advice has been invaluable. To bring a little closure to this thread I am going to share with you all some information. I have ultimately decided to matriculate at FSU law. After much bickering and squabbling they finally caved into my demands and gave me $7k to go towards my tuition. This does help the burden of my student loans tremendously and makes me not feel so bad for turning down FIUs $10k. I do still have to pay for all of my living expenses in Tallahassee but that is insignificant when compared to any decently large city in the US. This will be manageable because I have saved a couple thousand during this off year working. After visiting FSUs campus I felt like it was a very collaborative atmosphere compared to that of FIUs. Note I am not putting down FIU it is a great school in its own regards I just felt more in tune with the spirit of FSU law. As for all the haters from UF saying that FSU doesn't have any big law connects well just looking at the short list of big law firms in the capital: Greenburg Traurig, Akerman Senterfitt, Gray Robinson, etc. I think there can be valuable connections made in Tallahassee in both the private sector and the public sector. Now I don't even plan to work in one of these sprawling mega firms anymore after learning about the quality of life for your average junior associate. What I plan to do is spend the rest of my adult life working within the legal system and at some point hopefully I can retain enough clients to open up my own firm and finally be able to call myself boss.

I am still on the UMich waitlist but I have never been one to torture myself over something that might not materialize. If they do accept me within the coming weeks I would have some reconsidering to do. School starts on august 25 and if they reach out to me after then I hope they have a good replacement lined up. Looks like it's Tallahassee for me in August!

PS sorry for the crappy grammar writing these rants on an iPhone is not proofreading friendly

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: April 10, 2014, 09:25:32 PM »
As a preface let me say again that both Miami88 and CityLaw have been great in giving me the feedback that I need during this arduous process. I know I was just splitting hairs when it came to the difference in employment stats between FIU and FSU, I just really want to convince myself that one school is better than the other so that I can make a clear headed and easy decision. Fact of the matter is that I still cannot but I am slightly leaning towards FSU for a variety of reasons. 1. The peace and calm demeanor of Tallahassee should allow me to focus on my studies better 2. The cost of living leads to less money spent on gas, groceries, etc. (although I would be saving more by staying at home) 3. This consequently leads to cheaper happy hours for when I need to blow off some steam 4. I firmly believe Tallahassee is the best college town in Florida. Now FIU is a great institution and I was perfectly happy going there until I realized that I could go back to my alma mater that I am a proud graduate of.

To not give you guys too much of an easy time I have come up with some counter points: although FIU would offer the obvious "networking" advantage being located in Miami don't you think that some employers would be intrigued by an FSU grad after seeing a thousand resumes with FIU, UM, St. Thomas, Nova, etc. on them? Wouldn't some attorneys recognize that I am loyal and willing to contribute to the firm in the long term because of my willingness to receive my Bachelors and JD from the same institution? Also wouldn't I have a broader alumni network to tap into if I attended FSU because it was founded in 1966, whereas I would have to essentially "blaze my own trail" if I graduated from FIU because it was founded in 2002?

On another note yes Miami88 if I got accepted to Michigan I would probably go because it would be an opportunity that I would regret to pass up on. Michigan has an outstanding entrepreneurship/law program which I am highly interested in. Only problem is that I got "waitlisted" so they literally told me that I have from now until August to play blindfolded pin the tail on the donkey until I find out. Kind of makes me regret not applying to more top schools because I didn't think that my 157 LSAT score and 3.45 GPA were up to their standards. I do however have an outstanding resume, solid writing samples, and represent a "minority". At the end of the day  I don't need a fancy ivy league/top 20 degree to boost my self esteem or to make jobs appear out of thin air, I'm just going to do what I always have done which is use my own determination and resilience to separate myself from the competition.  I am perfectly fine and happy practicing in Florida or somewhere else in the Southeast with a relatively low burden of debt as a graduate of either FIU or FSU.

Another note for Michigan is that I have never experienced "Michigan" type cold weather. From what I hear about other residents of the Midwest is that Michigan is cold for even Ohio/Minnesota standards. Being a Florida native for the last 20 years I am not sure how I would deal with that and how it might impact my psychological well being. The coldest weather I have been in is about -10 degrees Celcius because I was in Europe at the time.

Citylaw I will make a note to check out that movie because like Miami88 I have been devouring admissions/first year/intro to law books in my quest to find the right school for me, yet I still have not found an answer. Oh yeah Miami88 if we both do make it to Michigan we will have to swap info to see if we can find suitable living arrangements.

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: April 10, 2014, 10:15:29 AM »
On the flip side I was also recently notified that I made the University of Michigan wait list. Woo hoo! (I guess) If accepted, I have to decide if I want to go further in debt in order to attend a school with a national reputation. I do love my two regional powerhouses in FIU and FSU but all of the old guard lawyers tell me to attend Michigan if I get in. Realistically the only place I would want to live in besides Florida/Southeast is NYC so I don't know if that would be worth it.

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: April 10, 2014, 10:09:06 AM »
Again thank  you for the prompt response CityLaw. Well you are right, I do have very little experience working in a courtroom legal setting per se but I already have had an internship for two legislative sessions in the Capitol in Tallahassee at a lobbying firm, and I currently work at a maritime law firm in Miami. As you can imagine I do not plan on being that 1% that does not do *&^% to pass the bar exam let alone try at law school. I am going to have to try because I am not a trust fund baby and I am not going to an elite level school. That being said, it is hard for me to comprehend that rankings do not matter. In my narrow minded 0L head all I can see is FSU #1 in Florida, FIU #4 in Florida by a significant margin. I have a few buddies going to St. Thomas law school (unranked) in Miami and a plethora of other friends trying to be attorneys that did not get into FSU but got into FIU. Essentially I feel like if I pass up on FSU I would be settling and although my performance at FIU would dictate what type of job I would land, in the back of my head I will always know that I could have had a magical experience in Tallahassee but I bypassed that because I was scared of a little debt.

City Law, I am glad that you can commiserate with me  when it comes to the big city traffic. I have visited LA once and let me tell you that your traffic is significantly worse than ours, I guess I am just being whiny. I just feel like Tallahassee has a much more laid back mentality that would dissipate my stress levels whereas in Miami I would have to worry about a million other things besides school. On a random note I find it intriguing that FIU has 44 yelp reviews whereas FSU only has 4 Yelp reviews. Is FIU disseminating propaganda? or is FSU suppressing information? I guess I am just too cynical for these review websites.

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: April 09, 2014, 09:19:01 PM »
PS I paid my $200 deposit for both schools so its all gravy when it comes down to deciding time. I am aware that as soon as I decide where to go I should inform the other school so that a waitlisted student could get his preferred school.

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: April 09, 2014, 09:14:42 PM »
As always I appreciate the quality and timing of your input Miami88 the facts you are telling me are both relevant and applicable to my situation. I do however have some inquiries about the facts you cited. Firstly, you kind of oversimplify the difference between the employment statistics of FIU and FSU. For example, the Big law and public interest/gov. hiring percentages of FSU are double of what they are for FIU. This makes a difference because the size of FSU is comparable to that  of FIU whereas the University of Florida is much larger than both these institutions. I know were all pre law or current JD students but I am going to do some basic math so bear with me. If there is an average class size for FSU is 187 and 6% of their grads land a big law (big bucks) gig that would be 11.22 students from that class. Now FIU has an average class size of 155 with 3% of their grads landing a big law gig which would make it 4.65 students out of that graduating class landing jobs at a big law firm in Florida. I don't know whether to count that .65 as a roundup or a shorter FIU student (think 4" and less student) landing a big time gig. I am aware that FSU's class sizes are marginally larger but shouldn't I go with the school that offers more jobs straight up? What's the point of going to law school if your scared of the competition?

Another aspect of this discussion that I have to consider is what type of law school experience do I want? Sure I can play it safe and stay at home and have mommy and daddy do my laundry and cook all my meals while going to FIU but if I go to FSU I can be my own man and worry about my own business. Not to mention that I live with two other brothers here so it would be virtually impossible to study at home in Miami, I would practically be relegated to exclusively study at FIU law's campus. If I went to FSU I would have my own 1 x 1 apartment where I can control all the variables and live far away from the undergraduate part of campus where all the crazy Saturday football shenanigans would be going down. On top of that there is virtually no commuting in Tallahassee, everything is within a 15 minute drive. I know I previously said that FSU is not giving me financial aid but the actual truth is that I find out mid April whether they are going to give me some moolah or not. Although I would prefer to practice in Miami it is not the be all end all of why I want to go to law school. This city is great but there is a mind numbing amount of traffic to get around anywhere, its expensive, overcrowded, and a lot of people here are straight up rude and always in a rush. There are plenty of gorgeous cities in Florida such as Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville that I probably would not mind exploring after graduation. I work 7 days a week to save up for law school where I aim to have 10k straight cash for wherever I decide to attend. So yeah FSU would put me in the hole significantly more than FIU but if I land a sweet gig and almost certainly have a better law school experience wouldn't that count for something that you cannot put a price on?

Either way thanks for the help guys as you can tell I been stressing over this for the last half of 2013 and all of 2014 but I think of it as training for law school haha!  ::)

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: April 08, 2014, 10:20:57 AM »
So guys sorry for doing a total 180 degree turn but this application process has been confusing and full of ups and downs. I visited FSU law this past weekend for admitted students day and the campus is much larger and well equpped than FIU Law's campus. The faculty also seems to be slightly more qualified, with many teachers coming from the nation's top legal institutions. Although FIU's dean comes from Harvard and has many connections, FSU's dean comes from Texas and seems to have just as many hookups within the state of Florida. The student body also was very receptive with everyone willing to answer any questions I had about the law school and its opportunities. I am aware that you all preach that rankings do not matter but it seems like FSU has a better reputation throughout the state and is more regionally recognized. FIU on the other hand is a great institution, but it is only really recognized in South Florida. Bottom line is when I graduate I feel like FSU can give me job opportunities all over the state and maybe in another southeastern state such as Georgia whereas if I go to FIU I will be forced to stay within the confines of South Florida. The decision is not final yet because I still need to weigh out the financials but for now I am leaning towards another three years in Tallahassee.

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: March 03, 2014, 11:54:44 AM »
Thanks for the feedback. I am going to give a call to both institutions to see if I can schedule a visit for some face to face scholarship negotiations. Wish me luck!

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: February 25, 2014, 03:44:05 PM »
Again thanks for the additional insight Citylaw. In these tough economic times it is crucial to get as much money as you can from whatever institution you enroll in. I am definitely going to try to squeeze a few more bucks out of FIU but how do you think would be the best way to do this? Through the phone? I know you mentioned email, but I was also wondering if an in person visit to the Financial Aid center would be better? 

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: February 14, 2014, 03:15:10 PM »
 Let me say that I am extremely humbled by the responsiveness and quality of the feedback by the particpants in this forum. With this useful advice I have decided to enroll in FIU law over FSU simply because I want to practice in Miami and the cost of attendance/living would be much more favorable. I did have great memories and friends in Tallahassee and I was priveleged to work in the capitol at a lobbying firm which I would surely consider doing again after I receive my JD, but I feel like I could accomplish this by discovering some Miami area lobbying firms. Bottom line is that I want to practice in the private sector in Miami after graduating law school and FSU law does not have much of a Miami area presence. Although their presence is getting stronger, FIU's will always be superior in South Florida and even schools like Florida, Nova, St. Thomas will have more lawyers in South Florida than FSU. FSU is undoubtedly a great school right now and is better than FIU but I feel like FIU just makes more financial, economical, and legal sense for me.

By the way you all were way more helpful than those knuckleheads at the "Top Law School" forums. What a bunch of clowns.

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