Law School Discussion

UF, FSU, or Stetson with qualifications

Re: UF, FSU, or Stetson with qualifications
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2017, 06:05:38 PM »
I agree with Loki. The USNWR rankings do provide a rough idea of the national profile, if you will, of each school. My point is simply that when you are talking about schools which place almost exclusively locally, that national rank is of limited value.

Example: If you want to practice in Portland, a degree from Lewis & Clark is probably far more useful than a degree from Washington & Lee even though W&L is ranked higher. A degree from the University of Oregon would be even better, and a degree from Stanford would beat them all. So yes, rankings matter, but context is necessary. Don't just go by the numbers alone.

Question for Loki:
Is a degree from UF a better bet even if the OP is focused on Tampa? It seems like you can't really go wrong with UF if you intend to stay in FL. 

Re: UF, FSU, or Stetson with qualifications
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2017, 01:49:20 PM »
The wife is set on staying in her home town for her support network. I cannot change that. I am not expecting to commute either. I don't have direct experience, but I expect law school to eat away at me (especially since I am a perfectionist and will be looking to be the top in my class, on the trial team, etc.). I hope to travel home on the weekends, or maybe twice a month if I need to do additional school work.

That's why distance factors so heavily in the conversation, and why I dismissed the idea of William and Mary even though they are offering me $10k a year and the GI Bill would pay for all tuition. I have no love of Tampa, but it seems hard to turn down the money offered by Stetson even if UF is going to make getting a job easier later. The problem is that the two considerations are so different that it is hard to compare them.

Re: UF, FSU, or Stetson with qualifications
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2017, 02:40:59 PM »
That's a tough situation. I went through law school with a wife and kids, and it is no walk in the park. My wife was already a lawyer, so I was lucky that I had a spouse who understood the time commitment involved.

I can understand your desire to reduce the distance as much as possible. I would only add that it's important that your wife be on board with the decision, and that she truly grasps how much time you will need to devote to law school. It's a grind, but people make it work. Best of luck to you! 

Re: UF, FSU, or Stetson with qualifications
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2017, 07:09:14 PM »
Not trying to be "that guy" but if your wife lives in another town you are likely to either fail or lose wife, most likely both.

I wouldn't do this at all.

Re: UF, FSU, or Stetson with qualifications
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2017, 02:28:45 PM »
On balance, this all leaves me leaning pretty strongly toward Stetson, but that 103 number is really getting to me. Is UF that much better that I should give up $17,119 a year plus room? Is FSU good enough that I should ignore their lack of concentrations and the distance from my family?

Your reasoned thoughts are greatly appreciated.







Semper Fi.

Try not to allow "noise" complicate tho HUGE decision for you.
 
The distance to your family is ALL important for your wellbeing and the adventure of life...keep them close.

The Tampa bay market is where you will make rooted connections...

The money and more importantly "time" are valuable.

Going to Stetson is thinking smarter;not harder.

In other words.....dont buy Clorox when all you really want is bleach.

loki13

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Re: UF, FSU, or Stetson with qualifications
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2017, 12:21:33 PM »
The wife is set on staying in her home town for her support network. I cannot change that. I am not expecting to commute either. I don't have direct experience, but I expect law school to eat away at me (especially since I am a perfectionist and will be looking to be the top in my class, on the trial team, etc.). I hope to travel home on the weekends, or maybe twice a month if I need to do additional school work.

That's why distance factors so heavily in the conversation, and why I dismissed the idea of William and Mary even though they are offering me $10k a year and the GI Bill would pay for all tuition. I have no love of Tampa, but it seems hard to turn down the money offered by Stetson even if UF is going to make getting a job easier later. The problem is that the two considerations are so different that it is hard to compare them.

First, stop stressing and concentrate on the positives. You have been accepted to the good law schools in the state you want to practice in. Congratulations! There is no truly "bad" option between UF, FSU, and Stetson. Instead, you're making a positive choice as to which of the schools best fits your needs.

So let's look at some factors-
1. Your wife and family live in Vero Beach and want to stay there. First things first- is this going to be your permanent home after law school? If so, then, well, the Ft. Pierce/Lucie legal market isn't that large, and I wouldn't recommend the commute to Orlando or W. Palm (yep!). But it's doable- there are jobs. Just not ... your pick of jobs, or "BigLaw" jobs.

2. If you're not willing to relocate, Stetson's relative advantage in Tampa doesn't mean anything, and you'd be better off with UF or FSU's overall advantage. Ideally, given what you have written about costs, I'd recommend FSU. However ...

3. There's no way you'd be regularly, or semi-regularly, visiting your family from FSU. Not going to happen. Weird fact that you may (or may not) be aware of, but because of the road set up and E/W travel in Florida, UF and Stetson are about the same distance from Vero Beach. Go fig.

4. Given your military background, and non-traditional status (that's fancy talk for, "taking time off between UG and law school") I expect that you will treat law school like a job, and put the time in. So I'm going to be honest with you- if you want to place at the top of your class, and you want the prestigious extras (law review, moot court, trial team), you will be a ghost to your family for a good part of your first two years. I was a non-trad with a family, and I did the work to place at the top of my class and get law review, and I was effectively a stranger for the first two years ... and I lived with them.


In the end, you need to make the decision that is best for you, and I can't answer that. I can tell you that if everything else is equal, I would go UF > FSU .... > Stetson. But I would also say that the difference between UF and FSU is negligible. The most important thing is to graduate with little debt.

I will add this; where you graduated from will not matter after several years of practice, other than alum networks. It will help with your first job (or jobs, if you get a new job early in your career). But debt ... that can haunt you.

But for your family, given what you wrote about the costs, I would choose FSU. If your family is a concern (as in regular visits) then you should choose between UF and Stetson.


Re: UF, FSU, or Stetson with qualifications
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2017, 02:48:02 PM »
Two Words come to mind....Jose Boy.........

I know you are thinking "I was deployed all was well" (and it likely was)
but you were bringing home a livable wage and other benefits

you will be barely keeping your head above water, so you wont be a "provider" (that dynamic change is huger than you currently realize), the strain on her support system will over 3-4 years become more than expected, she will eventually believe she is carrying YOU.............

I honestly wouldn't do this if she wont move with you. Its not a good sign.

Re: UF, FSU, or Stetson with qualifications
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2017, 08:59:58 AM »
Good Morning All,

I realized I never closed this thread, and I wanted to express appreciation for everyone's reasoned thoughts.

I have decided that I will be going to FSU. Now I just have to bide my time till August... So close and yet so far away...

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Re: UF, FSU, or Stetson with qualifications
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2017, 11:32:36 AM »
Good Morning All,

I realized I never closed this thread, and I wanted to express appreciation for everyone's reasoned thoughts.

I have decided that I will be going to FSU. Now I just have to bide my time till August... So close and yet so far away...

Congratulation, and good luck!

Free advice - your first year is really, really important. So make sure you treat it appropriately. Do all the work, and do even more. And don't pay attention to the 1L rumor mill. All 1Ls are overworked, scared, and don't know what they are talking about.

(But a study group will be a good idea)

Re: UF, FSU, or Stetson with qualifications
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2017, 09:52:30 PM »
Congrats, FSU is a good school.

If you get stuck on something, try the Examples & Explanations books. I found them very helpful during the first year. Good luck!