Law School Discussion

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« on: November 23, 2007, 12:12:15 AM »
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El_Che

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Re: Florida International University
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2007, 12:42:24 AM »
If you are interested in staying in Miami after graduation, then it sounds like FIU might not be a bad choice, depending on your gpa and lsat. Miami is certainly the main place to study Latin American Law of any type (business, immigration, etc). If you know for a fact that you aren't shooting for biglaw, then it certainly wouldn't be a bad idea to take on a lower debt load, particularly if you can still follow the path that you prefer. I can't speak for the school too much, as I haven't visited and don't know anyone currently attending, but I know you were considering NEU in Boston, correct? If so, and you are seriously considering Miami, I don't think FIU would be a bad choice at all. Pm me if you want anytime, I'm considering Miami strongly as well.

Re: Florida International University
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2007, 03:38:25 AM »
The biggest problem with FIU is the lack of alumni network. Alumni are going to be very important in your job search because no low ranked school's name is going to get you a job alone...you'll have to hit up alums for networking and informational interviews. Most public law schools have thousands of alumni, but you won't get that from FIU b/c it's so new. For that reason alone, I cannot recommend it to anyone. Note also people on the hiring end may be very hesitant to hire from a new school despite there being nothing wrong with its graduates per se.

For areas like Immigration Law, you aren't going to find the info you want from a message board like this. You need to get out and talk to immigration lawyers. Start where you live but also find some conferences out of state for immigration lawyers and try to go to them. You'll probably be the only pre-law in attendance and thus should be able to glean lots of information. Ask them about their schools. Why did they choose them? Did their school offer immigration classes or did they end up having to learn everything on their own or through continuing legal education? Whether or not this is something you can realistically break into is something you need to find out before even setting foot in law school and plunking down big bucks for the degree.

As for "international law", I really think that it's a pipe dream for the most part. Most law grads do not practice "international law" and your chances from a lower ranked school are about nil.

I know a guy who went to a top 5 school planning to practice "international human rights law" or "human rights policy" after graduation. He wanted to do that and nothing else - his dream was to work for Amnesty International. In short, the guy ended up dropping out of law school during his first semester after realizing this career path was unrealistic with a law degree. He ended up going to Harvard for a Master's degree in Public Policy but I don't know if he ever ended up into a human rights related field or not. I do know that Public Policy professionals are far more likely to work in the non-profit sector compared to law grads though.

One more thing: I would definitely NOT recommend attending a school far away from your spouse. Two students at my 1L school tried this and it didn't work out too well for them despite the fact that they went home every single weekend. One student ended up leaving after the first semester to transfer to another school in their hometown. The other student looked miserable most of the time and was constantly searching for jobs back home and kept talking about leaving.

Re: Florida International University
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2007, 01:29:50 PM »
Thanks for the advice.  The low tuition is really the thing that sticks for me.  If I practice for a few years in Miami won't my law alma mater matter less?  I'm more interested in immigration than anything - programs aren't ever rated or anything, so I've been having to look at the school's websites to see if they offer any sort of clinics or special programs.  Not a lot of schools have immigration clinics.

Sure, after a few years of practice the fact that it is a new school will matter less. But a lack of extensive alumni network is major downside that will definitely make things more difficult for you. Try to talk to recent alums and see what they have to say.

The in-state rate is a good for FL residents. How sure are you that you could obtain the in-state rate? Make sure you look at things very closely before deciding to make a decision to go there based on cost, assuming you can get in. It looks easy at some schools, but that's not always the case in reality. I personally know a couple people who had problems getting in-state at their schools.

Matthies' tip about the volunteer attorneys is a good one.

One more thing: assuming you would have to maintain a 2nd residence in Miami (not a cheap city, by any means) in order to attend FIU, it might not be much cheaper overall even assuming FIU's in-state rate to attend a private school in Boston or nearby and live at your current residence.

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Re: Florida International University
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2007, 01:34:30 PM »
if you move here, u get in state 2nd yr.

Ninja1

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Re: Florida International University
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2007, 11:35:10 AM »
In my little bit of research, FIU looks like a fine school and I would have no real complaints about going there. It's a newer law school, but it's one of the only ones that I actually believe when they claim to be poised to make big strides in the rankings over time.

I'd say going for international law is the weakest link here. But, if you know that's what you want to do and you're willing to stick with it, I'd say give it the go. Worst case, it doesn't pan out and you go into gubment work.

Ninja1

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Re: Florida International University
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2007, 11:51:49 AM »
In my little bit of research, FIU looks like a fine school and I would have no real complaints about going there. It's a newer law school, but it's one of the only ones that I actually believe when they claim to be poised to make big strides in the rankings over time.

I'd say going for international law is the weakest link here. But, if you know that's what you want to do and you're willing to stick with it, I'd say give it the go. Worst case, it doesn't pan out and you go into gubment work.

I'm going more for immigration law... which is kind of a subset of international law...

Immigration law actually doesn't sound like a half bad idea, especially given the growing attention that it has been getting lately. My only concern with it would be that it would be like Constitutional law in that it would be interesting, but hard to make a living in if you work outside of the government, but I don't really know for sure on that.

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Re: Florida International University
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2007, 12:25:34 PM »
one thing to remember, floriduh is #2 or 3 in the nation for immigrants, so should be plenty of work.

course, that means alot of competition...

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Re: Florida International University / Immigration Law
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2007, 12:44:34 PM »
thats what im saying

i know i dont want to pick fruit or build houses...

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Re: Florida International University / Immigration Law
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2007, 12:54:12 PM »
true

latest stats i saw

we get about 1 mil a yr of legal migrants

and another 500-750k illegal

plenty of work.