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Author Topic: FSU vs. U of Miami  (Read 1493 times)

crazy_canuck

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FSU vs. U of Miami
« on: April 20, 2006, 07:53:31 PM »
Hi guys,

First time posting so bear with me.  I was just accepted into U of Miami today and things are looking pretty good for FSU as well.  The only problem is, I have no idea how the schools compare.  I've never even been to Florida.  I'm just a Canadian eager to escape the COLD and the SNOW.  Both the schools are ranked somewhat similarily on the US News rankings but any personal opinions would be much appreciated.  If it helps, I'm interested in going into corporate/commercial law.

Cheers!

scottyd1982

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Re: FSU vs. U of Miami
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2006, 07:59:01 PM »
Not knowing anything about either school, 2 things to consider:

1. Miami is in a cosmopolitan major city, Florida State is in relatively conservative Tallahassee, in North Florida.

2. You'd probably have more corporate contacts in a city like Miami than in Tallahassee.
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UGAfootballfanatic

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Re: FSU vs. U of Miami
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2006, 08:41:56 PM »
If money is no object I'd take Miami. FSU is the second best public in the state, and hurts with alumni contacts because of it. UMiami gets a lot of S.FL business and likely will get you better job prospects IF you want to stay in Florida. Otherwise, it's really a crap shoot.

crazy_canuck

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Re: FSU vs. U of Miami
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2006, 09:13:12 PM »
Does anyone know how either school does with regards to job prospects outside of Florida?

Thanks for all the responses so far.

toomuchhype

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Re: FSU vs. U of Miami
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2006, 11:56:23 PM »
Does anyone know how either school does with regards to job prospects outside of Florida?

Thanks for all the responses so far.
I got the impression that Miami did better outside of FL.  I think its bc more students are non-residents than at FSU where almost everyone is from FL.  However, FSU seems like a better choice for Atlanta and Alabama.

Miami is definately a better choice if youre looking for corp law, but youll prolly stay in Miami.

BigRig

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Re: FSU vs. U of Miami
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2006, 11:02:26 AM »
I agree that if money is not an option, you want to be in a cultural metropolis, and want to practice corporate law in S. Florida then Miami is the way to go.  However, if you look at the ABA data regarding bar passage, employment, among other variables FSU is a better law school. FSU definitely offers better employment prospects across the state of FL as a whole, while Miami does better in S. Florida. FSU places better for corporate positions in ATL, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa but a significant number of grads work in the public sector.  Also, the alumni contacts are very strong at FSU; I am not sure what the earlier post was basing that statement on. Finally, I agree that Miami's name generally will be viewed more highly in distant markets (e.g. NYC), but in reality neither school places well there.  I'd make sure to visit both and see where you're most comfortable and what you are willing to pay (cost of living is drastically different not to mention tuition if one is able to transfer residency which is in limbo).
Attending FSU.Go Noles!!!

loki13

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Look at past threads
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2006, 12:34:17 PM »
There have been many past threads re: Florida schools, so I'd recommend looking over them, as they cover the differences between these schools thoroughly.

My 2 cents, FWIW:

If you want a corporate job in Miami, UM is a better bet (duh).

FSU places slightly better in ORL, JAX, TAM/SP, and ATL.

Miami's name may be a little better known outside of FL and the Southeast, but just by a little. If you're looking to practice in NYC, you applied to the wrong schools. :)

What it should come down to is the visit. Have you ever *been* to Miami? Try before you buy... the next three years of your life, and quite possibly, a great deal of time after that, will be determined by this decision. Some people love Miami, others (me) would never live there.

UMGrad

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Re: FSU vs. U of Miami
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2006, 01:16:30 AM »
As a point of correction, according to the ABA statistics, Miami not only had a higher bar passge rate than FSU, but had the highest par passage rate among all Florida law schools. While I think that one year moves in the rankings mean very little, trends are meaningful. Miami has moved up dramatically in the U.S. News Rankings over the past 4 years. From 85 to 77 to 73 to 65. The university as a whole is also on the rise, recently bringing in over $1 billion, and is already considerably much more prestigious than FSU. In terms of big law, every year the very top of the class at Miami will have opportunities in the northeast where there is an alumni base. I'm not sure the same can be said of FSU (or UF for that matter). If money is an issue, I think deciding between FSU and Miami is a toss up. If money is not an issue, I would definitely choose Miami.   

loki13

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Re: FSU vs. U of Miami
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2006, 07:22:29 PM »
As a point of correction, according to the ABA statistics, Miami not only had a higher bar passge rate than FSU, but had the highest par passage rate among all Florida law schools. While I think that one year moves in the rankings mean very little, trends are meaningful. Miami has moved up dramatically in the U.S. News Rankings over the past 4 years. From 85 to 77 to 73 to 65. The university as a whole is also on the rise, recently bringing in over $1 billion, and is already considerably much more prestigious than FSU. In terms of big law, every year the very top of the class at Miami will have opportunities in the northeast where there is an alumni base. I'm not sure the same can be said of FSU (or UF for that matter). If money is an issue, I think deciding between FSU and Miami is a toss up. If money is not an issue, I would definitely choose Miami.   

Lies, damn lies, and statistics. A few years ago, Florida Coastal had the highest bar passage rate. Did this make them the 'best' law school in Florida? On the Feb. bar exams, Miami placed well below FSU (and below 70%)... does this now mean they've suddenly become much a much worse?

The answer to both questions, of course, is no. More interesting to note are the statistics for employment for UM grads compared to FSU grads:
For UM, at graduation and 9 months after: 73.4%   93.1%
For FSU: 85.0%   98.9%

This would suggest that a higher percentage of FSU grads are gainfully employed and seeking to pass the bar, whereas only a smaller percentage of the UM body (and, presumably, the better students in the class) are taking the bar.

Breaking down the employment prospects futher, the chances of working in NY (the mid atlantic) are, well, SLIM if you go to FSU (1%) of grads. And the chances of working there if you go to UM and take advantage of their extensive network of alums? Um, SLIM (4% of a smaller reporting subset). Ther chances that you'll be stuck in FL if you go to Miami? High... 82%. FSU? High.... 81%

But what does it all mean, Basil? The bar passage rates are, for the most part, BS. There are certain truths contained within that are important, but you need to look at them in context. Why do some T4 schools have such impressive bar rates? Because of their ungodly attrition rates! Why were Miami's rates 'better' (less than a standard deviation from my quick measurements, meaning statistically meaningless)? Because fewer of their bottom feeders tried to take it. Will the UM connections take you anywhere? Um.... 4% does not speak of a strong career services office. It probably points to students who came from that region and already had contacts (but my daddy's a judge!).

None of this is to slam UM. You want to practice in S. FL., it's a solid choice. But like most schools outside of the T20, it's regional. If you finish near the top of your class, and you work at it, you can make your diploma portable- but you can do that at FSU as well.

All things being equal, I'd rather go to FSU unless offered a scholarship by UM. COLA is way to high for Miami, and tuition is as well. Although personally, it looks like I'm going to UF. heh *grin*

And on a final note, if you want a more urban, big city experience... you should definitely go to UM.

Towlie

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Re: FSU vs. U of Miami
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2006, 01:09:04 AM »
Miami, no questions asked. Who wants to live in Tallahassee?