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Author Topic: FIU, Miami, or defer?  (Read 2255 times)

racheles05

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FIU, Miami, or defer?
« on: March 11, 2005, 08:02:44 AM »
Here's my situation. No money from Miami. A generous scholarship from FIU, which is provisionally accredited and hasn't even graduated its first class yet. I'm a single mommy with a child who will be starting elementary school in August. I have wonderful, supportive family members who are willing to help me with child care and so forth in South Florida. So, I have serious ties to this area.

I've just been rejected from UF and put on hold at FSU. Relocating even to another part of Florida at this point would be pretty difficult anyway.

I want to work for the government or a non-profit. I have absolutely zero interest in doing biglaw or any of that other nonsense. So, huge debt is a big concern.

Anyway, this is the decision that is making me nuts: FIU for next to nothing but iffy career prospects, Miami with huge debt but better career prospects (but big Miami firms don't really float my boat), or defer, work for a year and save up some more money? If I work for a year, by the way, I would have to find a new job. My boss is a complete b***h and I won't be able to tolerate her for another year.

Anybody want to weigh in? Besides internet message boards, who else can I go to for advice with these kinds of questions? Do you think my pre-law advisor would still help me?

werbz

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Re: FIU, Miami, or defer?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2005, 08:38:55 AM »
I see your problem... If I were you, not wanting to work for big law, and seriously concerned with debt... I'd probably choose FIU. Just my opinion.

TradeWonk

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Re: FIU, Miami, or defer?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2005, 09:23:19 AM »
Rachel,

Fortunately you aren't Werbz and therefore you might not take that advice.

So you don't want to do BigLaw.  That's fine.  Heck, a lot of people don't (myself included).  However, that's hardly a reason to pass up a good school for one that's, well, questionable.  FIU may move past provisional, and may be a great school in ten years, but then again it might not.  Either way, how many times in your life will you go to lawschool?

More importantly, if you don't want to do BigLaw, what do you want to do?  Because contrary to common misperception, there are a lot of other areas of law that are just as competitive - govt., prosecutor's offices, even respected public interest firms and groups.  Unless you want to work in the barrio at a no-name corner legal clinic, it may take that better education to get in the door.  And even if you do want to work at that corner clinic, if you truly are doing it just to help people, then you should make sure you have the best education possible.

If you were choosing between Miami and a solid tier three I would maybe say take the money.  FIU seems like a gamble.  I know it'll be a challenge, but you'll do it.  Also, check with Finaid.  Assuming you're confident in your abilities, there may be possibility of getting merit aid after your first year if you're ranking well.
"...I keep getting older, and they stay the same age."

werbz

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Re: FIU, Miami, or defer?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2005, 10:02:14 AM »
Rachel,

Fortunately you aren't Werbz and therefore you might not take that advice.

So you don't want to do BigLaw.  That's fine.  Heck, a lot of people don't (myself included).  However, that's hardly a reason to pass up a good school for one that's, well, questionable.  FIU may move past provisional, and may be a great school in ten years, but then again it might not.  Either way, how many times in your life will you go to lawschool?

More importantly, if you don't want to do BigLaw, what do you want to do?  Because contrary to common misperception, there are a lot of other areas of law that are just as competitive - govt., prosecutor's offices, even respected public interest firms and groups.  Unless you want to work in the barrio at a no-name corner legal clinic, it may take that better education to get in the door.  And even if you do want to work at that corner clinic, if you truly are doing it just to help people, then you should make sure you have the best education possible.

If you were choosing between Miami and a solid tier three I would maybe say take the money.  FIU seems like a gamble.  I know it'll be a challenge, but you'll do it.  Also, check with Finaid.  Assuming you're confident in your abilities, there may be possibility of getting merit aid after your first year if you're ranking well.

Don't listen to someone who has 'wonk' in their name.

TradeWonk

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Re: FIU, Miami, or defer?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2005, 10:10:08 AM »
Don't listen to someone with the following stats:
-------------------------

Accepted: ZERO!
Rejected: None!
Pending: A LOT
"...I keep getting older, and they stay the same age."

starter

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Re: FIU, Miami, or defer?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2005, 11:21:11 AM »
Probably with your child starting their first year of elementary school, it would be better to defer at both schools. During this year, you could work and save money and even retake the LSAT for a better score and hope for Miami to provide you with $$$.

just my 2cents.

TradeWonk

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Re: FIU, Miami, or defer?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2005, 11:25:33 AM »
Probably with your child starting their first year of elementary school, it would be better to defer at both schools. During this year, you could work and save money and even retake the LSAT for a better score and hope for Miami to provide you with $$$.

just my 2cents.

reasonable.  when you defer miami tell them you're retaking to try and get aid.  i just really hesitate to spend 3 years at a school you don't seem thrilled about just because it's cheap.  The two really can't be compared.
"...I keep getting older, and they stay the same age."

jax327

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Re: FIU, Miami, or defer?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2005, 11:32:04 AM »
I would not advise you to go to FIU.  If you are sure you want to stay here in the Miami area for the long run (which seems likely b/c of the family ties), Miami is probably the best choice for you, even better than UF/FSU.  Are St. Thomas/Nova offering any money? 

Finally, is it possible to take out loans for your first year, and get more substantial aid/scholarship for your second and third years at UM?  How about the June LSAT?  Could you take that again, and with a score increase request more money for this year? 

Good luck!

ACore

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Re: FIU, Miami, or defer?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2005, 11:35:13 AM »
If I was in your place, I would definately consider deferring. The fact that you want to go into public interest or government law rather than chase the big bucks and take a BIGLAW job after graduation will make it more difficult for you to pay off your debt in the future. While FIU does offer considerable cost benefits, the provisional status of the school and the fact that it has not been around long enough to establish a decent reputation may ultimately hinder your job search after graduation. If you truly believe that you can perform better on the LSAT the next time you take it, you should defer with the hopes that you will get a reasonable scholarship or financial aid package next year.
Attending: FSU
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werbz

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Re: FIU, Miami, or defer?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2005, 11:51:49 AM »
Don't listen to someone with the following stats:
-------------------------

Accepted: ZERO!
Rejected: None!
Pending: A LOT

Hey I'm bat'n 1000!