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UF 3L - Will Answer Questions

loki13

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UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« on: January 04, 2009, 06:47:45 PM »
Howdy,

I am the few, the proud, the jaded, the bored. I am a 3L with a job lined up and not a whole lot to do this coming semester. I remembered this board provided some solace back in the day, so I thought I'd give a little back before the 2100+ billables kick in, and/or I get occupied by the Gators in the BCS championship.

Some quick preliminaries:

1. Yes, I am a 3L at UF.
2. Yes, I was at the Ol' Miss game, and that missed extra point haunts me to this day (although I guess it ended up okay).
3. Yes, the economy is really, really bad, and I still feel lucky to have hitched on with a great firm after 2L. It has been pretty brutal for 3Ls who didn't have a position or 2Ls this year.
4. If you are in-state for tuition, UF is a great school to go to. They are cutting their student body (total number of incoming students) which means they will be more selective.

Okay- I'm open for other questions.

Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2009, 08:14:08 AM »
thanks for answering questions.

how do you like gainesville? i've never actually been there, but i hear that if you aren't crazy about football/tailgating/go gators etc that there's not much to do. for the record, i like all of those things, i missed them at a small liberal arts UG, but i'm not sure i'd want that that to be the extent of the social scene. 

i'll be the first in my family at UF if accepted, and the 'noles in my bloodlines are trying to talk me out of UF ( presumably because tallahassee is such a cultural gem), even though i feel like it's the better school, particularly if i'm not sure i want to do gov't/PI. and if i want to leave florida, the alumni network seems like it's a bit more widespread at UF.

and how far is gainesville from the closest beach? it's right in the middle of the state, so i know i'm not going to like the answer no matter what, but i'm one of those people who likes florida for the coasts and not much else.

oh right, the law school: competitive among students? nice facilities?

thanks so much :)

loki13

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 08:48:15 AM »
Here's my answers to your questions, but remember this caveat- these are all my (well-informed and correct) opinions. I recommend getting a spread of opinions.

1. I also went to a small (Northeast) liberal arts undergrad. Gainesville was not a culture shock. The size of the university (dealing with the bureaucracy at times) can be, but not the culture of the town.

2. More on Gainesville- G'ville is a college town, like Athens, or (not as cool, but still) Austin... you get the idea. We have UF, and Shands (medical center) and, uh, UF. It's a great place, but go to far away (Waldo, Stark, Chiefland) and you're in a whole 'nother universe.

3. Social options- UF Law is kind of cut of, physically and culturally, from the rest of the University. If you like the undergrad party scene, there's a lot of that. There's some cultural options, more than you'd find in most cities this size, because of UF. There's plenty of sports etc. But you're in law school- you won't be taking too much advantage of that. If you like the BigCity(tm) this is the WRONG SCHOOL to go to.

4. There's a lot more to do than football; again, think of typical college town options.

5. Beaches are a weekend option (Daytona/St. Augustine) but they are a hike (~2 hrs.). East Coast options for beaches aren't so hot (Cedar Key isn't really one). So- it's definitely doable, but it's not an after-class kind of thing.

6. Given the current job market (dire, but hopefully better by the time you graduate) I will give you the piece of advice: go to UF. Seriously. If you are getting in-state tuition, it is a steal. FSU goes up and down in the rankings, sometimes coming close, but it is nowhere near UF in terms of perception in the state and perception in the region.  Law school is what you make of it, and FSU is a fine school, but UF's alum network is just better.

7. Facilities are okay. They're relatively new and they're about to finish a new moot court / trial building. The library and many of the classrooms were also recently built.

8. The student body is not competitive. Well, they are competitive in the sense that law school is relatively competitive, but it just isn't cut-throat. Students help each other. Part of this is because nobody (NOBODY) fails at UF. So you get a few students competing for the top honors, but all the top students know each other, so it's more of a friendly competition.

Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2009, 02:05:15 AM »
Hey I have another question.  If you know you want to practice law in Florida and are a resident, would you recommend UF over higher ranked schools.  For example, would you say that UF is preferable to schools such as Emory, UGA, W&M etc given these circumstances?  Thank you very much.

loki13

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2009, 08:34:54 AM »
Let me preface this answer with a few pieces of information you might not be aware of:

1. UF's student body (for the law school) is odd, in that you have a large number of good students, and a small (but significant) number of excellent students. The excellent students are competitive with anything you find at a T14 school; the good students simply are not as driven or as engaged with the law.

2. UF has some top-notch faculty, and some relics. You can chose to learn with the best or coast to easy grades with the worst. (Note that top-notch does not mean "biggest names" or "most published" but means "most engaged with the students and willing to try to impart information to them and hold them accountable for learning that information")

3. Given 1 & 2, supra, your experience at UF can be as rewarding as a T14 school let alone another T1 school, provided you are willing to deal with the hit to your prestige that comes with it. However, knowing this . . .

UF is the top dog in Florida. If you do well at UF (top 15%, LR/Moot/Journal) you can get any job you want in Florida. Off of the LR, I know people who are in all the BigLaw jobs in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jax (all, like 3 BigLaw Firms that have offices there). In addition, many people go to Atlanta and DC. I have friends working in NYC and LA/SF. So if you do well, it's not a problem.

And, as I mentioned, it is still top dog in Florida. Great for clerkships (Fed & St.). Places in govt. and private. Amazing alum network. If you know you want to practice in Fla., I would go to UF.

The one exception I would make is if you got admission into a HYS-type school. That opens up all sorts of new possibilities. Emory wouldn't be enough (not at that tuition).

Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2009, 06:57:55 PM »
I'm undergrad at UF now (English major) and just like I had to for undergrad,
it's looking like I will be choosing between UF and FSU (pending UGA probable reject).
I am a resident so tuition will be great at either one.
So, my questions:

1. I've always been turned off by UF's general attitude about not caring that much about students. By
that I mean not really doing a good job during the admissions process of making students feel like they
are wanted and valued. Being a student here, it is completely obvious why: there are 51,000 students in
undergrad and thousands more begging to get in so they don't care if you come to school here or not. I
have to say that thus far I haven't found law school admissions much different. Do you feel that that kind
of atmosphere exists on the law school level?

2. I'm finishing undergrad in three years and I am wondering how some of the younger students tend to
"fit in" at UF with a bit of an older crowd of people.

3. Did you go to accepted student's day? If so, was it helpful to making your decision? I literally live
around the corner, so it would be lazy of me not to go, but I'm just curious.

4. Opinions abound about UF/FSU comparisons, but I'm just wondering what the specific tangible differences are
since they are the two top schools in the state. Is it just that UF has the better alumni network? (not to downplay
how important that is, but I'm really torn between the two. I like FSU a lot and Gainesville is wearing one me.)

5. Is it easier to get football tickets as a grad student? Because I got totally jipped as an undergrad.

6. Do you plan on storming university with the mob when we win the national championship tomorrow night?

Thanks for your time!


TTom

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2009, 07:11:49 PM »
Howdy,

I am the few, the proud, the jaded, the bored. I am a 3L with a job lined up and not a whole lot to do this coming semester. I remembered this board provided some solace back in the day, so I thought I'd give a little back before the 2100+ billables kick in, and/or I get occupied by the Gators in the BCS championship.

Some quick preliminaries:

1. Yes, I am a 3L at UF.
2. Yes, I was at the Ol' Miss game, and that missed extra point haunts me to this day (although I guess it ended up okay).
3. Yes, the economy is really, really bad, and I still feel lucky to have hitched on with a great firm after 2L. It has been pretty brutal for 3Ls who didn't have a position or 2Ls this year.
4. If you are in-state for tuition, UF is a great school to go to. They are cutting their student body (total number of incoming students) which means they will be more selective.

Okay- I'm open for other questions.

Thanks for answering questions.

You say that UF is cutting their incoming class size. However, hadn't they just enlarged it from 200 to 400 a couple years ago? What size are they targeting?

Also, not that I care that much about rankings, but Florida is currently on the border between T and TT.  Any word around the school as to whether UF will be able to stay in the top 50?

UFBoldAsLove

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2009, 07:27:16 PM »
Howdy,

I am the few, the proud, the jaded, the bored. I am a 3L with a job lined up and not a whole lot to do this coming semester. I remembered this board provided some solace back in the day, so I thought I'd give a little back before the 2100+ billables kick in, and/or I get occupied by the Gators in the BCS championship.

Some quick preliminaries:

1. Yes, I am a 3L at UF.
2. Yes, I was at the Ol' Miss game, and that missed extra point haunts me to this day (although I guess it ended up okay).
3. Yes, the economy is really, really bad, and I still feel lucky to have hitched on with a great firm after 2L. It has been pretty brutal for 3Ls who didn't have a position or 2Ls this year.
4. If you are in-state for tuition, UF is a great school to go to. They are cutting their student body (total number of incoming students) which means they will be more selective.

Okay- I'm open for other questions.

Thanks for answering questions.

You say that UF is cutting their incoming class size. However, hadn't they just enlarged it from 200 to 400 a couple years ago? What size are they targeting?

Also, not that I care that much about rankings, but Florida is currently on the border between T and TT.  Any word around the school as to whether UF will be able to stay in the top 50?


OP Correct me if I'm wrong but... UF always had around 400 students in each class. However, about half of those were were students who started their 1L in the Spring. For some years US News only reported the #s for the Fall entering class. A couple of years ago they began reporting ALL the numbers, Spring and Fall, which caused a drop in the rankings from about 42 to 47.

I'm gone now, so I have no idea what # they are targeting in the change.

loki13

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2009, 08:48:18 PM »
Wow- so many questions... start with the easy ones (I guess):

1. UF has been in the 40s since I can remember. While there are some internal concerns (mainly dealing with the retention of quality young faculty) that ranking doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon, for better or worse. Expect to get this- a solid regional school (places all the way from Miami to Atlanta... um, DC), the best school in the state (for those with in-state and/or political aspirations) and low tuition. If by some statistical glitch, it comes out at #52 some cycle, heads *will* roll. I just don't see it happening.

2. Classes used to be bifurcated into a Fall/Spring class (~200 each semester). They changed (starting in '06) to a Fall class only, but it swelled to well over 400  because of poor  yield planning by the administration (460 I think). I believe they are looking to reduce to 300 or so for the entering class (~20% reduction). I know they are reducing, but I can't remember the exact figure- it was decided at a meeting last semester, and I can't recall what it was.

As to gwen's questions-

1. The law school operates an administration within the administration. They have to use the main systems (ISIS etc.) but the law school operates differently (different starting dtates, different class times etc.). It makes it more bearable, and I have never had to go to main campus other than to deal with a Research Asst. paycheck and get my GatorID card. Oh, and football.

2. Not sure I understand this question. UF law is a decent mix- a lot of straight through (incl. double gators) and a few non-trads (people who took off time to work). I personally recommend taking off at least a year for travel/work etc., but you wouldn't feel out of place.

3. I did not go to accepted student day.

4. I think UF is a better law school. FSU is also a fine choice. If you cannot stand Gainesville, try something new. But you have a perfect opportunity to view them both for yourself. Sit in on a few UF classes and/or go to some of the law school events (ACS or Federalist speakers).

5. Graduate credits are worth more in the lottery. Law credits are, apparently, magic. Well- perhaps not, but I've never known a person at Levin (UF Law) who wanted tix and did not get them. I've had them each year. And yes, it's been AWESOME!

6. No. Not the stormin' type. Have to start worrying about the character & fitness part of the bar.

Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2009, 08:50:15 AM »
A few more questions for you:

1.  In terms of job placement, Emory vs Florida vs Chapel Hill, assuming I want to practice in the SE region (FL, GA, NC)?  (Ignore differences in tuition)

2.  I'm studying Accounting at UF (BS and MS) and I'm interested in the Tax LLM at Florida.  Can you comment on UF Law student acceptances into the Tax LLM at UF?

3.  Given the State of Florida Public University System's funding problems, do you foresee a noticeable impact on the law school's instruction, ranking, job placement, etc?

4.  What kind of salaries are UF law grads (approx. top 1/3) fetching in Tampa, Orlando, Jax, and Miami markets?


Thanks for your help.  Apologies for the specific nature of my questions.