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Author Topic: UMiami vs. FIU  (Read 10352 times)

Reetina

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UMiami vs. FIU
« on: June 17, 2009, 08:17:20 PM »
I have been accepted into both Univerity of Miami (2nd tier) and Florida International University (4th tier).

I am quite interested in public interest law and am aware of the low salary prospects in this field.  I can't help but believe that I should attend a FIU at 12K/year rather than a 35K/year school.  I'ld just like to confirm that I will be able to find a job in public interest law.

Does this assumption make much sense to anyone else?

Contract2008

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Re: UMiami vs. FIU
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2009, 01:39:30 AM »
I have been accepted into both Univerity of Miami (2nd tier) and Florida International University (4th tier).

I am quite interested in public interest law and am aware of the low salary prospects in this field.  I can't help but believe that I should attend a FIU at 12K/year rather than a 35K/year school.  I'ld just like to confirm that I will be able to find a job in public interest law.

Does this assumption make much sense to anyone else?

Any job, including or should I say especially public interest jobs are hard to get. 

With that being said, 70K difference is a lot of money.  That would be 3 or 4 brand new cars right now.   70K means extra $600 per month for 15 years. 

There is a chance that someone with a JD from FIU has co-workers who are UM grads.  But, generally speaking, you have better opportunities with a UM degree. But, what can you do with extra $600 per month for 15 yaers?   

big - fat - box

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Re: UMiami vs. FIU
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2009, 02:11:24 AM »
Neither school is a good idea. UMiami is way too expensive at full price for the job opportunities it offers. FIU is a newer school without an established alum network. If I was in your situation, and I was a Florida resident, I would reapply next year and try hard to get into FSU or UF. Retake the LSAT to improve your chances. That way you get in-state tuition and a better alum network than FIU.

Public interest jobs (DA/PD, Legal Aid, other legal non-profit) are a lot more competitive than you think and the crap economy makes it even more competitive (cuts in funding, more people trying to get the public interest jobs due to private sector downturn). Add to the mix the number of law schools in FL and things look even worse.

When you are thinking about total debt, don't forget to add in cost of living differences. I'm sure living in Tallahassee or Gainsville for 3 years of school is cheaper than Miami. Also, if you don't make student loan interest payments while in school, that interest is capitalized and added to the principle. That means you pay interest on interest and owe even more than you thought you were going to owe.

WKRUSE

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Re: UMiami vs. FIU
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2009, 01:35:45 PM »
Here's what I can tell you.  I graduated last year from FIU in the top ten in my class.  I got a job in St. Louis making more than I was offered in Miami, and was employed before graduation.  While I am only paying $300 a month in loans for my FIU education, my friends who went to private schools are paying three times that each and every month.  They, with a few exceptions, don't make a dime more than I do, and in some instances make even less. 
The school was great, the professors were great, and it prepared me to pass the bar on my first shot.  Trust me, as a practicing attorney and not a soon-to-be law student like most posters here; unless you are going to a top 25 school, it doesn't matter.
However, if your ego needs a certain diploma and you don't mind an extra 100K in debt, go for UM.

Contract2008

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Re: UMiami vs. FIU
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2009, 01:39:45 PM »
Here's what I can tell you.  I graduated last year from FIU in the top ten in my class.  I got a job in St. Louis making more than I was offered in Miami, and was employed before graduation.  While I am only paying $300 a month in loans for my FIU education, my friends who went to private schools are paying three times that each and every month.  They, with a few exceptions, don't make a dime more than I do, and in some instances make even less. 
The school was great, the professors were great, and it prepared me to pass the bar on my first shot.  Trust me, as a practicing attorney and not a soon-to-be law student like most posters here; unless you are going to a top 25 school, it doesn't matter.
However, if your ego needs a certain diploma and you don't mind an extra 100K in debt, go for UM.

How did you end up in St. Louis?

What kind of law do you practice?

WKRUSE

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Re: UMiami vs. FIU
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2009, 02:06:04 PM »
I was born and raised in the area, and was always interested in the idea of returning (comperable wages, cheaper housing, 4 seasons, etc.).  I sent out resumes and interviewed with the hope of returning.  One firm flew me up for an interview, and another firm had me come up and interview on my own dime.  I took a position with the first firm.  Not becasue they flew me up, but because it was the best fit for me.
I practice primarily in Complex, Jones Act, and FELA Litigation.  We are a small firm, but handle cases in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Kansas, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Michigan and every so often, points further west.
I have to add that not all my classmates, nor those of other schools, have been as lucky.  The primary comment I heard while taking both my bar exams (Missouri and Illinois), was that most bar takers had not found work.  These are people from multiple states and from mulitple schools across the "ranking" spectrum.
In my honest opinion, my success at finding employment had most to do with:
A) life experience (prior military, etc)
B) Work done while in law school (clinics, internships, etc)
C) Class rank (work your butt off and study hard)
D) Timing (right resume on the right desk at the right time)

My success at finding employment had little to do with:
A) Where I went to school (No one interviewing me even commented on it)
B) Who I knew (I didn't know anyone at any of the firms that interviewed me)

Contract2008

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Re: UMiami vs. FIU
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2009, 09:39:37 PM »
I was born and raised in the area, and was always interested in the idea of returning (comperable wages, cheaper housing, 4 seasons, etc.).  I sent out resumes and interviewed with the hope of returning.  One firm flew me up for an interview, and another firm had me come up and interview on my own dime.  I took a position with the first firm.  Not becasue they flew me up, but because it was the best fit for me.
I practice primarily in Complex, Jones Act, and FELA Litigation.  We are a small firm, but handle cases in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Kansas, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Michigan and every so often, points further west.
I have to add that not all my classmates, nor those of other schools, have been as lucky.  The primary comment I heard while taking both my bar exams (Missouri and Illinois), was that most bar takers had not found work.  These are people from multiple states and from mulitple schools across the "ranking" spectrum.
In my honest opinion, my success at finding employment had most to do with:
A) life experience (prior military, etc)
B) Work done while in law school (clinics, internships, etc)
C) Class rank (work your butt off and study hard)
D) Timing (right resume on the right desk at the right time)

My success at finding employment had little to do with:
A) Where I went to school (No one interviewing me even commented on it)
B) Who I knew (I didn't know anyone at any of the firms that interviewed me)

What's Complex, Jones Act, and FELA Litigation? 

How many hours do you work per week? How much do you make per year? 

Ninja1

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Re: UMiami vs. FIU
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2009, 05:02:17 AM »
Miami is tempting, but I'd go with FIU for the price difference.

Back before I got into FSU, I was thinking about Miami. They were one of the first schools that accepted me and I liked a lot about them, but there was just no way I could justify spending close to $200k for a degree from the U when I had several state schools on the board.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

jalex519

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Re: UMiami vs. FIU
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2009, 09:19:38 AM »
I would recommend Miami. If you do ultimately pursue a PI career, you can switch your government loans to the income sensitive repayment plan and after 10 years, your loan will be discharged (as long as you stay in PI). Furthermore, if you change your mind for some reason, Miami will provide you with better options in private practice.
2L and counting...

Contract2008

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Re: UMiami vs. FIU
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2009, 01:50:32 PM »
I would recommend Miami. If you do ultimately pursue a PI career, you can switch your government loans to the income sensitive repayment plan and after 10 years, your loan will be discharged (as long as you stay in PI). Furthermore, if you change your mind for some reason, Miami will provide you with better options in private practice.

Do you know much about finances?