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Author Topic: Full Scholarship...but I don't want to practice law there. Should I do it?  (Read 3926 times)

baileypicks24

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I heard from Akron Law and they offered a full-tuition scholarship, with a 2.3 gpa requirement.

Debt is a top priority for me. I'm only 21, I don't have an income, and I'm putting myself through school without any help from the parents. At your average law school, I'll probably end up borrowing $80-90k.

However, I drove up to Akron, Ohio, and while I really find Akron an adorable city, I just don't see myself practicing law in the area, and being a T3 school, my options will probably be limited to Ohio. The economy is stagnant, and more importantly, it isn't a very appealing place to me. Ohio is not very diverse, and that's a concern of mine. Plus it won't be suitable for my family because it's so "out there".

The alternatives are other T3 schools who didn't offer money, but are in bigger and more diverse cities/states...such Houston and Charlotte...where I would love to practice.

Is it smart to take the free T3 law degree in Akron and try to find a job in Charlotte or Houston (or elsewhere)? Or is it better to bite the bullet and go $90k in debt, and go to a T3 school in the city I want to practice in, like a Houston?



wiseowl

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Re: Full Scholarship...but the area isn't appealing? Should I do it?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2008, 03:50:07 PM »
if it's charlotte school of law, they aren't ABA-accredited yet.  maybe the houston option?  nicer weather, good market, cheap.
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baileypicks24

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Re: Full Scholarship...but the area isn't appealing? Should I do it?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2008, 03:50:56 PM »
if it's charlotte school of law, they aren't ABA-accredited yet.  maybe the houston option?  nicer weather, good market, cheap.

Actually, Charlotte just received provisional ABA accredidation last week. Check out their website. Pretty exciting news for them.

wiseowl

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both of us have made true statements.  yes, they're provisionally accredited, and no, there's absolutely no reason they won't reach full accreditation in 2010, but all other things being equal that would be a no-go for me.  they aren't accredited.
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In: UVA, Duke, GULC, Vandy, UGA ($), WFU, GW, George Mason
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baileypicks24

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both of us have made true statements.  yes, they're provisionally accredited, and no, there's absolutely no reason they won't reach full accreditation in 2010, but all other things being equal that would be a no-go for me.  they aren't accredited.

Valid point.

I guess it comes down to this: Will I be able to find a decent job outside of Ohio when I graduate from Akron law?

vap

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It's OK (not ideal) to go to a school in a state you don't want to practice in.  It's better if you have some connections to the state you want to practice in.

If you could choose one state in which you would want to practice, what is it?  Now, what states do you have a strong connection with?  Most law students graduate without a job, and you will therefore need to make an important decision about which state you would like to take the bar in.  You might as well make this decision as soon as possible because it will help you decide on a school.

All of that being said, once you pass the bar in a state, you instantly have a strong connection there (you're no longer a flight risk because  no one wants to take the bar more times than they have to).  Plus, you can work in that state during your summers.

What is Akron's curve?  If 2.3 is relatively low (50% or below), I'd go to Akron.  You're saving at least $60K compared to other schools, right?


baileypicks24

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Both of you folks have very valid points.

We have to remember that at nonelite schools like T3 schools, you'll have to work twice as hard to find a job. That's means networking. That means getting out and going to brown-bag lunches, volunteering in the community, doing the law clinics, etc. So if you're going to school in Akron, and you don't want to practice in Akron (or the surrounding area), then it's kinda hopeless, wouldn't you think?

vap

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it's kinda hopeless, wouldn't you think?

Without knowing any of your particulars (see questions above), I would say take the scholarship.  Limiting your debt when graduating from a T3 is a good idea.

Hope is a state of mind.  You can work your summers in your desired location and make connections then.  If you don't have a job at graduating, you can move to your desired location and do all those sorts of things you just described to network.  If you have decent grades, are likable, pass the bar, and put in a little effort, then you will be able to find a job.

baileypicks24

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Without knowing any of your particulars (see questions above), I would say take the scholarship.  Limiting your debt when graduating from a T3 is a good idea.

Hope is a state of mind.  You can work your summers in your desired location and make connections then.  If you don't have a job at graduating, you can move to your desired location and do all those sorts of things you just described to network.  If you have decent grades, are likable, pass the bar, and put in a little effort, then you will be able to find a job.

If I recall correctly, I would have to be in the top 65% of the class to have the scholarship renew every year. That's not a bad deal in my opinion.

I guess I'm confused beause as everyone knows, T3 law schools are a regional game. You should go to school in the region you would want to work in. And I probably wouldn't want to live in Ohio. You are correct that I would still be able to work summers elsewhere and so on in the city of my choice, but I'm weary about how much pull an Akron law degree will have outside of the state and the Midwest. What do you think?

Sigh....tough decision... :-\




baileypicks24

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And just for the record, here are my alternatives...with tuition rates...

(T3) Michigan State - $30k/yr (part time, but could transfer)
(T4) South Texas - $29k/year
(T3) Suffolk - $40k/year (not an option. not affordable)
(--) Charlotte - $29k/year