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Author Topic: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions  (Read 4281 times)

loki13

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2009, 01:37:50 PM »
1. In terms of job placement, if you do really well at Emory, Florida, or Chapel Hill, you can get a job in the location in the SE that you want. It's really that simple. They're all fine schools. None of them (despite the protests of their administrations) are NATIONAL schools. I think that Emory may be slightly better (in terms of overall faculty) but that and four dollars will get you a cuppa joe at starbucks. If you know that you want to practice in a particular legal market (Atl=Emory, Fla=UF, Charlotte=UNC) I would go to that school because of the contacts, otherwise I would base it on tuition. If you just can't choose- Emory is the best option. It has a slightly higher esteem value; but once you get outside of the T14, all the schools are pretty similar until the TTT.

2. UF for JD has some great tax classes due to the crossover with the LLM; you also have the advantage of getting to to know the professors if you choose. Again- there's a huge difference between tax law and accounting, so don't choose a school based on the desirability of the tax program. With the accounting, you might decide to go corporate law instead.

3. Yes and no. There will be problems, and ones that have already come up in terms of faculty hiring and retention. I don't see that having a long-term effect on the law school rankings because the law school has independent sources of funding it can tap and because the overall academic market (in terms of private endowments and state funding for public institutions) iis depressed so while their absolute value might decrease, their relative value will not.

4. First, UF law grads are not paid a premium over other law grads. There is a market rate. There are a number of resources (nalpdirectory) to see starting salaries. As a general rule, the desirability and pay for the Florida markets goes in the following order:
1. Miami
2. Tampa
3. Orlando
4. Jax (this is a DISTANT fourth)

There is some dispute about the relative strengths of Tampa and Orlando- Tampa is more 'old Fla.' and Orlando has been coming on strong, but that is a fair assessment.

I will be working in a NYC market. I believe that Miami follows next-tier salaries. This means that if you get a job in Miami for a BigLaw firm, first year salaries start at 130k (maybe 135?). NY/LA/Houston pay 160. Tampa pays either Miami or below. If you go to a major Florida but non-BL firm you can look for 80-110k as a start salary.

This was as of last summer when I looked; YMMV as the economy changes.

holeinone600

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2009, 02:07:24 PM »
Great stuff, thanks again.

A few last questions.  Assuming I pursue the BigLaw/private firm route, what general class rank at UF (and Emory/UNC/other schools you know about) is required to get serious consideration from firms?

Also, considering the additional NYC tax and cost of living, as well as the absence of FL state income taxes, would it be a fair assessment to say that a $160k starting salary in NYC is comparable to a $110k-125k salary in smaller FL markets (Tampa & Orlando)?



loki13

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2009, 05:54:00 PM »
1. There is a distinction between "BigLaw" and the private firm (in general) route. You are best off attending the school in the region you wish to practice for the regional schools (Emory = Atl/GA, UF = Fla, UNC = Charlotte) as far as private firms in general. For BigLaw, you will need 10% + LR (or, perhaps, moot court, but LR is considered a better BigLaw signal).

2. You are correct- the COLA can really kick your butt. It's also about quality of life; Some people love the culture and nightlife and restaurants that NYC provides; others prefer the fishin' and boatin' and no snowin' of Tampa. In addition, there are other factors to consider- the prestige of a NYC job, for example, allow for more options in the future, but in some cases you may get no practical experience in the meantime. Would you rather get more money and be stuck doing doc review / due diligence with the chance to do one depo in your first five years, or be arguing motions in your first year?

No matter what, the calculus is simple- if you get to a certain type of school (roughly T14, certainly HYS) your grades, if there are grades, are nearly irrelevant. Beyond that, your grades your FIRST YEAR matter an incredible amount. The lower ranked the school (moving to T3 and T4) the more a few bad grades will kill your options.

lunagirl

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2009, 06:32:44 PM »
Dear loki13, thank you for the great post!
Just wondering, do you know anything how UF is compared to University of Miami? I live in Miami and already got admitted to UM, now waiting on the decision from UF. I've heard that UF is a better academically-wise, but UM has better connections for job placement in Miami. Can you give any comments on that?

loki13

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2009, 08:24:17 PM »
lunagirl,

I cannot emphasize the following strongly enough when looking at schools in Florida.

1. There are only three schools I would consider- UF, FSU, and UM. While Florida has a number of other schools, some of them quite good for specialized purposes (see also Stetson if you want to do litigation in the Tampa area), there are the three heavyweights in the state.

2. Of the three, UF has a decided advantage over the other two schools. One reason is tuition; I cannot emphasize this strongly enough; given the vagaries of attending a non-T14 school, and given that many people decide not to pursue Big (or Lucrative) Law on graduation, it pays to keep tuition costs low. UF (and FSU) cost less than 10 grand a year- before any scholarships. That freedom gives you post-graduation options; in addition, if you decide to do BigLaw (as I did) it gives you more money to count as you cry yourself to sleep every night.

3. UF also has an overall reputation advantage. It is sometimes called the Harvard of the South. That appellation is, quite frankly, total BS. It's closer to the Tufts of the South. Anyway, the rep does wonders, giving you an entrance into all sorts of state positions.

4. UM will have a slightly easier time networking in south Fla. because you ARE THERE. Other than that advantage (which can be considerable, depending on how you work it) the UF degree is just as valuable. Many of my classmates are working at the large Miami firms (W&C, GT etc.) are for boutique SFla firms are clerking down there. 

5. There are no beaches close to G'ville. This is a bucolic, tree-filled college town. If you like the energy and pace and stores and nightlife of Miami, well, this it ain't. Then again, you'll be in law school, so perhaps you don't need the distractions.

Hope this helps.

AJaKe

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2009, 12:40:05 PM »
What do you say on opportunities for UF grads in DC?

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loki13

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2009, 02:25:12 PM »
There's an old joke about UF OCI (that's the office that helps place students with jobs)-  they can place you as far south as Miami, as far east as Orlando, as far west as Tampa, and as north as Atlanta!

That's not really true any more. I would say that they remain incredibly strong in Florida and Atlanta (Atlanta is practically a secondary market). We have also begun to place increasing numbers of students in the DC area and, to a lesser extent, in some Charlotte firms. I think the DC emphasis largely arises from the great admin/environmental programs UF has and he number of students who go to DC to work for the firms doing government and regulatory work. I know a large number of my classmates that are working in DC.

I believe that you if you do well at UF, and work at it, you have a good shot at the at DC market. We have an increasing number of alums in the area. BUT- remember it is not a primary market for us; you have to do reasonably well. If you know you want to practice in DC, you might be better served at a different school.

In addition, if you want to work in NYC/LA/Houston, you will need to make you own opportunities. Every year we have several students who go to those markets, but they made it on their own.

tony_rocky_horror

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2009, 11:45:13 AM »
Great Thread.

1. What is the recomended number of LOR to send?
2. Any thoughts on home town discount? I am local, a reach-target with gpa/lsat but 
    a non-trad with incredible lor/softs/resume

Thanks!

loki13

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2009, 07:27:33 PM »
This is probably not what you want to hear, but:

1. Don't sweat the LOR. Unless it's from Tim Tebow, it's not going to make your admission.

2. There is no home-town discount. Nada. Not officially, not unofficially.

3. The non-trad will help you slightly if GPA is why you are a reach (work experience can cure some GPA problems); it will hurt you slightly if LSAT is why you are a reach.

4. The softs/resume will help (because you're a non-trad) but it's primarily a numbers game.

Hope this is useful!

loki13

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Re: UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2009, 09:17:37 AM »
Let me post an addendum that may give you more hope and be more helpful:

UF (like most law schools) primarily relies on a matrix. IOW, the vast majority of applications are either automatic admissions or rejections. How does this work?

If you have a 175/4.0, you will be admitted. There will be a cursory look at the rest of your application. If, for example, your LORs say things like "For the love of god, this person should never be a lawyer- he kills cats in his spare time," then you'll get dinged. If the person submitted an personal statement with the grammatical sensibilities of an e.e. cummings poem, he'll get dinged. If the person submits a video shoot of himself in a mankini in lieu of a personal statement, he'll get dinged. Otherwise, they're golden.

On the opposite side, if you have a 150/2.8, you'll get dinged. If you have a LOR from Tim Tebow, that may change things. Otherwise, tough noogies.

If you're on the fence, though, you're put in a poor where the intangibles make a difference. One advantage of being a non-trad is that it helps 'cure' a bad UGPA. Great work experience means that your UGPA did not predict real world performance. So if you are truly on the fence, your intangibles will help.