Law School Discussion

Where should I go in FL?

Where should I go in FL?
« on: March 26, 2014, 02:13:51 PM »
162 LSAT; 3.05 GPA (I was in a touring band in college, and that kind of took up a lot of time...)

I've been accepted to Stetson (with $23,000 a year and a 2.25 GPA stip through 2nd semester), FSU (sticker price), UM, Barry, and should hear from UF today or tomorrow....

Right now I'm caught between FSU at sticker and Stetson - what do you think?

Re: Where should I go in FL?
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 03:45:17 PM »
Just off of this info., I'd personally would do FSU. The end costs will approximately be the same.

FSU total cost of attendance = 120kish. Stetson total COA = 180kish. Stetson COA after your scholarship = 120kish.

FSU > Stetson, especially in Florida.

Unless UM offers you significant money AND you know you want to live in Miami, I'd pick FSU over it. I'd turn down Stetson and Barry.

Now, UF and FSU are pretty much equal. UF is a little cheaper and has a little more pull in southern/eastern florida. FSU is a little more expensive, but has the obvious benefit of being in the state capital and will help you out for jobs in the gulf.

In sum, I would be torn between FSU and UF. If you don't really care about the region of Florida you end up working in, I would go to the one that is cheaper. You should also visit the schools. You may find that the "vibe" of the more expensive is far worth the extra cash.

Good Luck!

Re: Where should I go in FL?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 03:51:14 PM »
Also, have you negotiated with the schools for $? For example, you could make a strong case to stetson for way more money using FSU's offer, even with no schoalrships from them. As I pointed out, with your scholarship, Stetson is the same cost. However, FSU is faaarr stronger than Stetson in almost every way. You could probably squeeze out serious cash out of them.

Re: Where should I go in FL?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2014, 06:36:24 AM »
I've been trying to determine how to approach that really, the St. Pete area is ideal in my case for a lot of different reasons, so if I could get the cost down substantially I think that would kind of seal the deal.

FSU is a seriously tempting offer though... and you're right, for the almost the same cost, it seems like it's kind of a no-brainer. 

USPS seems to be dragging it's feet on my decision from UF.

Any recommendations on how I should approach asking Stetson for more money?  I am grateful for the offer of course, so I don't want to come across as being unappreciative.

Re: Where should I go in FL?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2014, 08:15:05 AM »
Just be upfront with them. They are expecting applicants to negotiate. Don't be rude about it.. like "WTF?! Why didn't you give me more money!?!?" Just tell them your situation..

"I really like your school because of x,y,z. You offered me X$, making your COA Y$. This other school COA is Z$. This other school offers me all of this, making me more torn in my decision. I'm hoping I qualify for more money to offset these considerations. Thank you so much and your school is amazing."

Or something like that... :)

Re: Where should I go in FL?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2014, 12:00:42 PM »
Sounds reasonable.  I just received my acceptance to UF as well, so that can probably apply some leverage, but geographically UF is also ideal for me, I just need (or rather, would like) to remain somewhat close to Orlando for various reasons.

If they don't offer more, I got into plenty of great schools though!!!  Do you think FSU might reconsider my financial award (or lack thereof) due to UF offering me admission? 

Re: Where should I go in FL?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2014, 01:50:26 PM »
I have no idea. You will have to ask and find out. But I would speculate they won't budge. Both schools are ranked evenly, cost the same, and are in similar regions. Further, Stetson is not a peer school with either FSU or UF. Their scholarship will have little weight if you bring it to them - particularly given that those are higher ranked schools and will cost the same. So, you don't really have any bargaining power here. The only legitimate pull you have to get more money right now is with Stetson and other lower ranked schools. There's no reason Stetson wouldn't up their offer. And if they don't, then your decision should be pretty easy. :)

That said, again, I still encourage you to at least try in a respectful, courteous tone. You never know - maybe FSU/UF really like you. But, as you said, you are already in a good position no matter what happens.

As for wanting to work specifically in St. Pete... Look up various law firms/places you would like to work in there. Find where those people went to law school. If you see that the majority of them went to FSU over UF, that may help you in your decision. In the end, though, I would speculate both schools would get you where you want to go about equally well. You could always call up the admissions dpt. at both FSU and UF and let them know your situation. That you are torn between FSU and UF, want to work somewhere near St. Pete, etc. They may shed light and offer perspectives that none of us have. As of right now, you are in a position of considerable power. These schools want you to matriculate, if not, it is going to (somewhat) hurt them (sorta). So, let the courting begin!

Congrats and good luck!

Re: Where should I go in FL?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2014, 11:36:16 AM »
Thanks for all of your help!  I've put in my respectful requests, and am now just waiting.  It is getting to be crunch time though!!!

Re: Where should I go in FL?
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2014, 08:11:18 AM »
The posters above offer great advice, but do realize this anyone posting on this board or others is nothing more than an anonymous Internet poster, my post included. Therefore, none of us have the right answer or know what will work at X school or what decision is best for you.

With that said it sounds like being close to the Orlando area is important and in my opinion location should always be priority #1. Maybe you have a girlfriend, family, friends, etc nearby or a job or who knows what, but if you want to be in a particular area then attend law school in that area. Law school is intense particularly 1L and you will not have time to go on trips etc you will be more or less stuck in the City you attend school in at least for 1L. If you have a support group in X city that can really assist you get through law school, which will be a very difficult chapter in your life.

As for the costs like everyone else says ask. Tell them you like their school, but X school is offering you X in scholarship money and you can't justify spending X amount more at X school. They will often come back with a 5,000-10,000 scholarship.

You should also be careful of any stipulations. I see the 2.25 GPA, which sounds pretty reasonable, but each law school has their own curve and law school is much different than undergrad everyone is smart, hard-working, and motivated and 100% of people think they will be in the top 10%.

I imagine a 2.25 means u need to finish in the top 75%, which means there is a 25% chance you will not have your scholarship year 2 and 3. However, I don't know the schools exact curve, but you should definetly ask. It is question potentially worth 10,000+

A final thing to do is visit each school. Each school has a culture to it and some you will like others you won't. The only person capable of knowing what you like best is you. Therefore, you should visit the schools talk to professors, students, admins, walk around the campus etc and you will get a feeling.

I know when I was a 0L visiting schools there were some I hated and others I loved. You will likely love one of these schools after a visit and not like another. Your gut will give you a feeling and it is very important to listen to that.

At the end of the day there is no "right" answer. No matter what school you choose there will be a what if feeling, but you will eventually have to choose one. The real truth is that no matter what school you attend whether it works out will have a lot more to do with you than the school.

Good Luck

Re: Where should I go in FL?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2014, 06:38:50 AM »
Thanks for the advice!

Being close to Orlando is important to me (family, girlfriend, etc.) but I also understand (as do they) that I will pretty much be locked up for my first two semesters. 

I went and visited Stetson yesterday, and I've got to say I really liked the campus and the vibe.  I feel like they have some respected programs and they do dominate the area. 

On the other hand, I feel like UF is a more versatile degree in general, and they have a massive alumni network.

UF came back to me with an offer of $11,000 1L, $9,000 2L & 3L with a 2.0 stipulation.  This makes it cheaper than Stetson, and make the odds of retaining my scholarship better (not that I'm really too worried about a 2.25 stip either).  I asked Stetson to reconsider the amount of my financial award, and want to see what they come back with, I'm counting on them changing my stipulation if they offer me more money, which could probably be the deal breaker.

Here's the thing, I acknowledge that UF is a more well known school and all of that, but I feel like my odds of being in the upper register of the class are greater at Stetson.  Also, this would increase my odds of being selected for things like moot court, trial teams, and other co-curriculars.

I've been a dependency case manager for the last three years and I already have a lot of court room experience and time speaking to and in front of judges, mostly DJJ and dependency, but hey it's probably more than most people will have, no?