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Author Topic: Perspective on my visit to Univ. of Miami and Stetson  (Read 4538 times)

taxguy

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Perspective on my visit to Univ. of Miami and Stetson
« on: June 10, 2010, 12:53:09 PM »
We visited University of Miami and Stetson for my son. Miami is much higher ranked ( top60) while Stetson is a tier 3 school. I really wanted to like Miami for many reasons. First , we had relatives there to serve as a support system for my son. Secondly, it is in...well.... Miami. Both the weather was fabulous and the school felt like being in a country club.
Third: Admission was surprising not that hard compare to other top 60 schools.
Fourth: Although tuition isn't cheap, it is not as bad as some schools caugh...Syracuse...caugh.
Fifth: They had a large number of offerings. Heck, they even had a course in online gaming, and I am not kidding about this.

However, as a result of our tour, everyone was a bit disappointed with Miami. Why?

First, Tuition at $37,000 isn't cheap and Miami is stingy with scholarships. They give out 22 full scholarships among 400 students.

Second, Miami had very large student faculty ratio at 16.5/1. We saw classrooms that had 125+ seats in them and they were numbered! The tour guide noted that Miami tries to fill up each seat too.  I got a real dipoloma mill feel from them.
Moreover, their career services isn't  good. For example, our tour guide was a JD and was giving tours. What does that tell you?
Although I liked the library, it really wasn't modern or recently renovated. Overall , I didn't get a warm fuzzy feel from Miami.

We then went to see Stetson. I was not prepared to like the school because of its tier 3 rankings. Moreover, I found Golfport to be a bit "hickish." However, I did change my mind after the tour. First, everyone was very friendly and accomodating. We even were able to meet the head of the elder law department who generously gave us as much time as we wanted. Stetson also had a very strong trial advocacy program and relatively cheaper tuition. I also got a more nurturing feel from them. 

Moreover, Stetson occupies facilites that were previously used as a luxury, elegant hotel. It is quite unique and also has a real resort feel to it. Moreover, Stetson is $7,000 less per year  than Miami and has a lower room and board cost.
Stetson did, however, have a mediocre Student faculty ratio too;however class sizes are maxed out at 70. I certainly didn't get the same diploma mill feel as I did in Miami. Also, their upper level classes average 25 or less. I was also particularly impressed with Stetson's new,state-of-the-art courtrooms. I can believe that their high ranking for their advocacy program is well founded. They obviously put a lot of time and money into this program.
Check them out. maybe your take will differ.
















bigs5068

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Re: Perspective on my visit to Univ. of Miami and Stetson
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2010, 02:24:54 PM »
The rankings really don't matter that much and you really should not get to concerned with them outside of the elite schools. If your son can get a scholarship at Stetson it would probably be a much better choice over Miami with no scholarship since either school will basically open the same doors. Your son might as well get an ABA approved degree at a cheaper price since the rankings are basically a scam and the ABA, LSAC, and AALS adamantly oppose them look at their websites.  U.S. News is nothing more than private company that came up with the rankings out of nowhere and there are few objective facts that go into a schools rankings. I guess bar passage which makes up 2% of a school's ranking is an objective fact, but I think bar passage should be taken slightly more seriously than 2%. In reality the majority of  the rankings is U.S. News staff opinion of the school. Who is on this staff? I don't know. Are these people paid to rank certain schools higher? It would not shock me especially since U.S. News is not subject to any rules. If someone pays them money to write a higher opinion of someone in their own opinion magazine that is not illegal. Look at the formula they use and really think about it and you will see U.S. news is basically a scam.

Bottom line unless it is an ELITE SCHOOL like Harvard or Yale the rankings don't matter and go with your gut and feelings about the school not the rankings.  Any ABA school gives you the same rights to be take the bar and become lawyer anywhere in the country. I just noticed mentioned rankings a lot in your post and I just wanted to let you know they really don't matter that much and it should not be something you consider to heavily.

JDGuy86

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Re: Perspective on my visit to Univ. of Miami and Stetson
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2010, 11:19:22 PM »
beyond the rankings is a scam post..

I have grew up in the Tampa Bay area of Florida for most of my life, and Stetson Law is well respected in the community and throughout the state. I have several friends and acquaintances that are students, faculty, and alumni of Stetson Law. I personally choose to go to another law school just to go somewhere different. However, the school is definitely on the move upwards and I believe last year was on the border of being in the 2nd tier. Its an overall solid school and looks like its making some people question the value of U of M. I'd recommend it, and gulfport & st petersburg is full of social, cultural, and career activity for outside of law school. Congrats to your son & I hope you choose Stetson I'm sure you'll be glad to join their legal community.

lawboy81

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Re: Perspective on my visit to Univ. of Miami and Stetson
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2010, 04:00:24 PM »
$7,000 a year more isn't all that much. Full price at a tier 3 school in an economy like this seems very risky. While Stetson may be well regarded in its immediate area, what kind of jobs are the students getting? D.A.'s and P.D.'s, and small firms I'd imagine, all of which generally pay below $40,000 to start. If he can swing a pretty decent scholarship it might be worth it. Also, how about FSU and Florida? If he can get into Miami, he's at least got a shot at these two which seem to be a better value than either Stetson or Miami.

bigs5068

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Re: Perspective on my visit to Univ. of Miami and Stetson
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2010, 06:55:47 PM »
I am sure a lot of Miami, FSU, and Florida Grads end up doing D.A., P.D., and small firm work as well the rankings between any of those schools and Stetson probably don't mean much and you might as well get out as cheaply as possible.

lawboy81

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Re: Perspective on my visit to Univ. of Miami and Stetson
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2010, 09:21:05 PM »
I imagine many UF and FSU grads do do this kind of work. But they're paying about $12,000 a year for tuition whereas Stetson people are paying $30,000 if they're paying full price. It doesn't sound like OP's son is getting any kind of significant scholarship to Stetson. Even if he was, say, getting half tuition scholarship he'd still be playing slightly more to go to a much lower ranked school. Might well be a better choice to go there than Miami at full price, I agree with that. And maybe if he can go to Stetson for half price and didn't get into FSU or UF but really wants to be a lawyer, any kind of lawyer, it is worth it.

bigs5068

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Re: Perspective on my visit to Univ. of Miami and Stetson
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2010, 12:58:42 AM »
Miami is still 38k, but you are right regarding FSU and Florida I had no idea they were that cheap. I really think that is the number one reason to choose a school if you can get out of a tier 3/4 for 60k cheaper then go for it.

I should have gone to law school in North Dakota and paid 6k for tuition and 200 bucks for living expenses a year haha and then I would have had an ABA degree.   

I think cost and location should be any potential student's number one concern, unless they are going to Harvard or something. Otherwise the only two things to really concern yourself with are cost and location

taxguy

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Re: Perspective on my visit to Univ. of Miami and Stetson
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2010, 11:46:28 AM »
Cost to me isn't a big concern since I am a lawyer myself. However, if he could get into Florida, I probably would recommend Florida. However, my son's undergraduate GPA was only a 3.1, atlthough he had a 3.9+ in grad school. I guess alot will depend on the LSAT,which he hasn't taken

Florida is a good school and much cheaper. However, it is also much harder for entrance. Moreover, my son doesn't want to practice law per se. He wants to open up a full service tax and financial planning firm. Thus he is more interested
in getting certain types of experience in estate planning and elder law and in family dispute mediation than in working for a big law firm. His goals are a bit different than that of the average law student. Stetson happens to have a lot of strong training particularly in Elder Law.  Finally, my son having recently passed the CPA, could work for an accounting firm that has a financial/tax practice too.

nealric

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Re: Perspective on my visit to Univ. of Miami and Stetson
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2010, 01:57:16 PM »
Quote
Florida is a good school and much cheaper. However, it is also much harder for entrance. Moreover, my son doesn't want to practice law per se. He wants to open up a full service tax and financial planning firm.

But Florida has one of the strongest tax programs in the country (#3 tax LL.M)
Georgetown Law Graduate

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Now who's being naive?

Cicero

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Re: Perspective on my visit to Univ. of Miami and Stetson
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2010, 03:03:43 PM »
Looking at rankings of these schools and cost, I would think UF (T-1)and FSU (almost T-1) would be a much better option than Miami or Stetson if your son can get into them. If there is a particular class (or classes) that Stetson offers that cannot be matched at UF or FSU, then your son could look into going to those schools and taking a semester or 2 at Stetson. Law Schools often let a student do that.