Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion

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 on: April 09, 2014, 04:18:39 AM 
Started by nreese - Last post by nreese
I haven't taken the LSATs and I'm about to finish my undergrad in a few months with an overall GPA of about a 3.2 (last 60 credits average GPA was a 3.68, however).  I'm expecting an LSAT in the mid-160s, but let's not count eggs before they've hatched.

That being said, I don't plan on going into law to become a lawyer.  My main goal, if I attended in Fall 2015, would be to go into the corporate world and use my J.D. as a basis for that career, eventually moving into entrepreneurial ventures.  Also on my radar is going into political work like lobbying and, once again, being an entrepreneur eventually. 

I'm fortunate enough to not have to worry about paying for law school so financing law school wouldn't be a problem.  My main concern is the warning I get from current J.D. students that people will think there's "something wrong with you" because I chose not to practice law or that I'm "too flaky" to be a lawyer, thus resulting in less job opportunities.  Granted, these concerns wouldn't be much of an issue if I was self-employed, so mostly I'm wondering if getting this law degree would be too much wasted time and if it wouldn't end up benefiting me in the long-run.  I personally couldn't imagine a law degree not coming in handy for either political or corporate jobs, but what do I know--I'm an undergrad.

Any kind of information on people who have taken this path or any of your opinions on it would be beneficial.

 on: April 08, 2014, 04:17:14 PM 
Started by functionial drunk - Last post by Miami88
As usual, I'm only an anonymous internet poster. You should assume that I and other posters on this forum are by no means qualified to comment. You should simply take our perspectives as just that, a perspective. Factor this in to your end decision with your own judgement...

It's not that ranking doesn't matter - it's that ranking on its own is almost arbitrary. A school's US News rank is based on several factors, some of which are extremely legitimate (employment statistics) while other factors are extremely elitist and minimally impactful on a graduate's career (selectivity). US News ranking are a great place to start your research and could potentially be used as a tie breaker, but it should not be the primary basis of your decision - particularly if the difference in ranking is minimal.

If we look up the important things (employment statistics, debt load, and realistic salary expectations) we see that, although FSU certainly is a stronger university relative to FIU, it is really only nominally so. Here is a side by side comparison...

Full Time-Long Term Employment Rate: 65%
Underemployment Rate (part time, temp jobs, etc.): 18%
Unemployed and still seeking work 9 months out: 3%
Class Size: 187

Fed. Clerkship: 1%
Big Law: 6%
Public Interest/Gov.: 30%
Business: 9%

Starting Salary Range (25-50-75th Percentile): $45-55kish
Debt: Approx. $120kish


Full Time-Longer Term Employment Rate: 57%
Underemployment Rate (part time, temp jobs, etc.): 14%
Unemployed and still seeking work 9 months out: 3%
Class Size: 155

Fed. Clerkship: 1%
Big Law: 3%
Public Interest/Gov.: 16%
Business: 8%

Starting Salary Range Avg.ish: $45-55kish
Debt: $65k-ish (as you noted before, you have a $5k scholarship and will have minimal living costs)

As far as regional placement, FSU will help you out the most in Tallahassee, Florida cities on the Gulf Coast, and to some extent in some of southern states (GA, AL). FIU will help you out most (and really only) in Miami-Dade. As the employment and salary stats are extremely similar, the debt load is half, and you had mentioned you really are looking to work in Miami, FIU really seems like the go to school between the two. If you, on the other hand, really disliked FIU's environment and are looking to work in the state capital, and don't mind the extra $60k worth of debt, I would then lean more towards FSU.

Again, ranking is a good general guide, but not enough to base your decision on.

Also, did you get an extension on FIU's deadline? I think their's was on April 1. If you didn't, then your decision may be an easy one at this point. :)

Good luck!

 on: April 08, 2014, 01:21:50 PM 
Started by LSAT Blog - Last post by LSAT Blog
From Excess of Democracy:

Of course, it's unclear whether majoring in a particular subject leads one to score better on the LSAT, or whether those who are already likely to do well on the LSAT choose certain majors. Perhaps a combination of the two.

 on: April 08, 2014, 01:20:37 PM 
Started by Dgren - Last post by LSAT Blog
I've also posted free video explanations for many LSAT Logic Games. They're available here:

 on: April 08, 2014, 10:20:57 AM 
Started by functionial drunk - Last post by functionial drunk
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.

 on: April 06, 2014, 02:15:01 PM 
Started by ItsTribbey - Last post by Miami88
As usual, I'm only an anonymous internet poster. You should assume that I and other posters on this forum are by no means qualified to comment. You should simply take our perspectives as just that, a perspective. Factor this in to your end decision with your own judgement...


Thats great about UF! And Im glad you enjoy Stetson. In the end, as noted by lawschooltransparncy, the end careers are basically the same. UF does seem to have a little bit of an edge. I personally would go with the cheaper option. Given that the cheaper option is UF AND that has a stronger employment prospect, I would go with UF. However, if you really don't like UF's enviroment and love Stetson's, then maybe the higher cost is worth your psychological, emotional comfort. Your call... :)

Finally, unless you are at the top top of your class, class rank isn't really THAT big of a factor. In other worse, basically everyone between the 25-75th percentile class rank at these schools are basically in the same boat. Someone who is in the 60th percentile at Stetson is prob having a similar career prospect (if not worse) as someone at the 40th percentile at UF. The top 25% might have an edge while the bottom 25% might have a bit of a harder time. The lower the school is in general ranking, the more extreme these class ranks need to be in order to have an effect.

Regardless, unless you seriously predict you will be the valedictorian at Stetson, I don't see this speculative class rank as a significant factor. Of course, if the employment prospects and cost were exactly the same (like FSU v. UF) and you have a stronger shot at getting a higher class rank at one over the other, then ok. But UF and Stetson are not exactly peer schools.

Good luck!

 on: April 06, 2014, 09:51:58 AM 
Started by ItsTribbey - Last post by ItsTribbey
Also, my visit to UF is this Friday, like you said, after visiting both schools, I should be able to narrow things down a little more.

 on: April 06, 2014, 09:38:50 AM 
Started by ItsTribbey - Last post by ItsTribbey
Thanks for the advice!

Being close to Orlando is important to me (family, girlfriend, etc.) but I also understand (as do they) that I will pretty much be locked up for my first two semesters. 

I went and visited Stetson yesterday, and I've got to say I really liked the campus and the vibe.  I feel like they have some respected programs and they do dominate the area. 

On the other hand, I feel like UF is a more versatile degree in general, and they have a massive alumni network.

UF came back to me with an offer of $11,000 1L, $9,000 2L & 3L with a 2.0 stipulation.  This makes it cheaper than Stetson, and make the odds of retaining my scholarship better (not that I'm really too worried about a 2.25 stip either).  I asked Stetson to reconsider the amount of my financial award, and want to see what they come back with, I'm counting on them changing my stipulation if they offer me more money, which could probably be the deal breaker.

Here's the thing, I acknowledge that UF is a more well known school and all of that, but I feel like my odds of being in the upper register of the class are greater at Stetson.  Also, this would increase my odds of being selected for things like moot court, trial teams, and other co-curriculars.

I've been a dependency case manager for the last three years and I already have a lot of court room experience and time speaking to and in front of judges, mostly DJJ and dependency, but hey it's probably more than most people will have, no?

 on: April 03, 2014, 08:50:19 PM 
Started by Class_of_2017 - Last post by Citylaw
Good I am sure these visits will clarify the decision significantly. These are both very different areas of the Country and I am sure one will appeal to you more than the other.

Again, congrats on your acceptances those truly are impressive schools and you are likely to have a bright future in the legal field as long as you stay motivated, ethical, and accountable, which I am sure you will.

Good luck and have fun during your visits.

 on: April 03, 2014, 05:19:37 PM 
Started by Class_of_2017 - Last post by Class_of_2017
Wow.  Thanks for the thoughtful/helpful replies you guys!  It's a big decision for sure and I appreciate the input.   I'm going to visit Duke this weekend and Chicago the next.  Hopefully seeing the two schools back to back will help make the right answer more clear.   :D

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