Law School Discussion


Which school?

UMichigan ($130k debt)
2 (100%)
Georgetown ($130k debt)
0 (0%)
Vanderbilt ($55k debt)
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 2

University of Michigan / Georgetown / Vanderbilt

Re: University of Michigan / Georgetown / Vanderbilt
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2014, 05:12:49 PM »
Boblaw I am happy to hear you have put some thought into where you want to reside.

However, if you are going to move across County I highly recommend coordinating the move with your fiance at the same time so you arrive in Ann Arbor, Nashville, or D.C. at the same time. You have been able to handle long-distance relationships previously, but law school is a life altering event particularly first year and it will change you. It will be good if you and your fiance experience the change together instead of her moving out during your first semester finals when you will be freaking out.

I also encourage both you and your fiance to visit Vanderbilt, Michigan, and Georgetown together and see how both of you feel about each school and City. If you arrive on the Michigan Campus and love it, but she has no desire to live in a college town it could result in a lot of issues moving forward.

The simple fact is each school and City will give you a feeling and one will feel right hopefully for both of you, but the only way to know what feels right is to visit the schools, talk to professors, admins, walk around the campus, the neighborhood around the campus, and explore the City itself.

You could listen to internet posters, magazines, etc, but the simple fact is these magazine internet posters etc know nothing YOU or YOUR relationship.  It is true looking at articles, blogs, and internet posters is a lot easier than visiting these campuses and experience these places yourself, but I strongly encourage you to spend some money on plane tickets and take time for both you and your fiance to explore these campuses together.

Also move together do not put yourself in a situation where she will come at a later undefined point while you deal with the rigors of law school. Maybe your relationship is different, but I never saw the long-distance relationship end well for any of my law school classmates.

Again, these are excellent choices and you should be very proud of your admission to such elite institutions, but in my anonymous internet poster opinion I think the best thing you can do is schedule a trip with your fiance to each of these schools and together come to an agreement on where both of you will be spending the next three years.

I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit of legal education and I am sure you will make the right choice.

Re: University of Michigan / Georgetown / Vanderbilt
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2014, 07:59:07 PM »
Is it worth the expense? That I can't answer...

Well, let me answer it.

Michigan came back with their final financial aid package.... and.... in the end, my debt load at each school for the entire three years would be as follows:

Vanderbilt: $55,000
Georgetown: $150,000 (I posted it incorrectly before)
University of Michigan: $70,000!!!

So.... at just $15,000 more than Vanderbilt and $80,000 less than Georgetown, Michigan it is! Well, I still haven't heard back from Georgetown with their final scholarship offer, so this may still change. But unless they throw well over $100k at me (very unlikely), it's going to be UMich.!


Also move together do not put yourself in a situation where she will come at a later undefined point while you deal with the rigors of law school. Maybe your relationship is different, but I never saw the long-distance relationship end well for any of my law school classmates.

My fiance actually has another year left in her masters program here in Miami, so she would not be able to move with me until after my second semester finals/law review competition. We are looking into her potentially transferring for her last year, but it looks like it may not be possible at this point in her program. As of right now, she will join me wherever I go for my 1L summer (more than likely Miami) and then move up to Ann Arbor (or D.C.) with me for my second and third year.

But you bring up really strong points. We really need to be on the exact same page and have clear expectations laid out.

Thank you all!


Re: University of Michigan / Georgetown / Vanderbilt
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2014, 08:15:01 AM »
Would it be possible to defer your choice until she finishes school or for her to transfer and complete her degree at the school you attend.

If your relationship with her is a #1 priority I think a lot of very difficult obstacles are being placed in front of you. Law school first year is insane and there were about 20 people in my first year section in 1L in long distance relationships and that all broke-up except for one and the girl transferred back to her homestate to be with her husband, because they were going to break up.

Essentially so many things will be changing for both of you so fast if your not on the same page a lot of difficult choices will come up. For example you have no idea where you will end up 1L summer and if she is completing a degree program she has no idea what opportunities will come her way. 

Hypothetically let's say you are attending Michigan and she visits you in November and with both of your South Florida Backgrounds she says holy s*** it is minus 0 I cannot live here and your stressed out with 1L finals unable to really pay much attention to her.  She is frustrated and a few months graduates  from her grad school program and is offered her job in Miami. She is then left with the choice of moving to Michigan where you have no job, she has no job, you have law school friends, but she will never completely fit in with that group,, then she can also endure subzero temperatures for half the year as well.  Or she can stay in Miami and obtain her dream job and leave it up to you to transfer back, which will likely result in you moving back to Miami or breaking up.

You may have survived long-distance relationships with her before, but there will be a lot of choices coming up for both of in different locations and one of you is going to have to make a major sacrifice, but it appears both of you are very motivated people. I saw this happen in my 1L class about 20 people were in long-distance relationships and everyone single one ended except one girl transferred law schools to be back with her husband.

Every incoming law student thinks they will be in the top 10% of their class, be offered a job exactly where they want, none of their relationships will be impacted etc, etc. I hope you are in the top 10% at whatever school you attend, get multiple job offers in Miami for 1L and post grad, and your relationship is stronger than ever due to the law school experience.

However, the reality is if you attend Georgetown, Vanderbilt, or Michigan while your fiance is attending Grad School in Miami your relationship will probably end. If you choose a law school and both move together it can work, but I would have little hope in the relationship actually surviving past first year of law school unless you transfer back to Miami for 2L. Again, I sincerely hope I am wrong, but you can see all the choices that will be laid out and problems arising leaving your relationship undecided.

Additionally, odds are you will not get a 1L job offer in Miami if you attend Georgetown, Michigan, or Vanderbilt. If you attend Georgetown your 1L will probably be in D.C, Michigan in Michigan, Vanderbilt in Tennessee. Most firms do not go out of their way to recruit 1L's for summer unless you are in the top of your class and there is a 90% chance you will not be in the top 10% and a 50% chance you will be in the bottom half of your class. Nothing personal against you, but just the reality as everyone in law school is extremely smart, hard working, and motivated.

Additionally, if your relationship ends while your in law school it can be very bad for your academic performance. If you get the call she is staying in Miami while your studying for finals it will have a negative impact on your performance.  If you finish in the bottom half or 25% of the class your options will be limited post-graduation.

One of the main reasons I post on this site is because I was in your exact situation 5 years ago. I was engaged and living in San Francisco both my fiance and I wanted to continue living in San Francisco, but I was accepted to Michigan for law school. I was thrilled to be accepted to such a prestigious and highly ranked school as an idiotic 0L I thought both of us will just move to Michigan and everything will work out.

As the days grew closer and the reality of moving to Michigan and my fiance having absolutely no plan for what she was going to do there tensions started to grow. I then called a few actual lawyers in the Bay Area and explained my situation and they all gave me the same advice if you know where you want to live at graduation attend law school there. My Dad also said if your fiance really is important do not make her follow you somewhere where she has minimal options. If my fiance just wanted to be a housewife it would have worked out, but she is a motivated person and obtained a very high paying awesome job in the Bay Area, which helped us significantly while I was in law school.  In your situation your fiance also appears to be a motivated person she is in grad school and seems to be very independent if you move her to Ann Arbor Michigan, or some other city where she is just a tag-along to all your law school friends it is unlikely to go well.

Again I hope I am wrong about all of this and everything works out awesome for you. However, I would say the following are your best options assuming your fiance is a #1 priority.

1) Recontact FIU and see if you can enroll I am sure they will be happy to take you in. The law school I ended up in attending in San Francisco let me back in after I rejected them remember they are businesses and more than happy to have a qualified student come in and pay tuition.

2) Defer your admission for a year until you and your fiance can move to whatever City together and develop a life simultaneously and make the choice together.

3) If attending the law school you want is the #1 option then choose Michigan, Georgetown, or Vanderbilt, but do not expect your fiance to end up following you to any of these places.

4) Again, if you want really want to end up in South Florida/Miami attend law school in South Florida or Miami.

I wish you the best and do remember I am nothing more than an anonymous internet poster who has never met you, your fiance, or knows the first thing about you so take my advice with a grain of salt. I would recommend applying the above thoughts to your situation and considering the reality of the situation where you are in Tennessee, Michigan, or D.C. while your fiance is awaiting graduation from a masters program in Miami.

Good luck on your decision whatever you do will end up working out and again you should be very proud of your acceptances to these schools.


Re: University of Michigan / Georgetown / Vanderbilt
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2014, 09:42:27 AM »
Citylaw brings up some great points that definitely require consideration.

Here's the thing:

No matter what you've read, heard, or surmised, you are not prepared for how difficult the first year of law school is. You're just not. I'm not saying that as a criticism, nor is  intended to reflect on your abilities. The fact is you can't be truly prepared because it is unlike any other academic endeavor you've attempted.

Your life will pretty much be class, study, sleep, repeat. Your fiancÚ is also not prepared for how much of your time will be taken up with school. When you get home you won't be hanging out watching movies and chatting with her. You'll be reading and briefing 15 cases, pouring through a hornbook trying to get ready for the next morning. That's if you're not at the library until 10 PM.

I was married when I went to law school. Even though my wife is a lawyer and she knew what to expect, it was still a strain on our relationship. And that was living in a city with a support network of family and friends.

I believe that it is possible for people to do law school and a relationship, but you should have a very open, honest discussion beforehand about the ramifications. Make sure your fiancÚ understands the level of commitment that law school requires and is on board.

Re: University of Michigan / Georgetown / Vanderbilt
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2014, 10:01:39 AM »
Excellent post and just to clarify relationships can and do work in law school, but add on long distance and the fiancÚ being faced with opportunities at graduation 1,000 miles away  and does not have a great chance of success.