Law School Discussion

Which law school for Florida Job- FSU vs. Wake Forest

Which law school for Florida Job- FSU vs. Wake Forest
« on: June 19, 2014, 12:17:07 PM »
I need to decide between FSU and Wake. I would like to work at a large/medium size firm in Florida, preferably Miami.
 Am I better off going to FSU (because of its Florida presence) or Wake Forest, Wake being higher in the rankings and certainly a more difficult school to get into.( The only other school I was accepted to that I would consider is Ohio State)  Tuition cost is not an issue.

Re: Which law school for Florida Job- FSU vs. Wake Forest
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2014, 08:34:13 AM »
I believe I responded to a similar post, but you have added Ohio State to this list.

I know nothing about you personally or what is best for you and neither does any other anonymous internet poster on this board or others.

I would however, strongly encourage you to consider the importance of the location you attend law school in. Tallahassee, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina are very different places. You will deal with subzero temperatures in Columbus and sweltering heat in Tallahassee as one example. The culture of the Midwest differs significantly from Winston- Salem, North Carolina.

You also should consider whether you have friends or family in any of these cities as having people outside of law school to interact with is very important. You can get lost in the law school bubble if you don't have an outlet so if all your friends live in Columbus, Ohio that is something to consider. If you do not know a soul in Winston-Salem North Carolina that is also something to consider.

It is also important no matter what ABA school you attend you will receive a solid legal education and for all intents and purposes learn the same exact thing. Your first year will consist of (1) Torts; (2) Property; (3) Civil Procedure; and (4) Contracts. Schools then mix-up whether you take Crim Law/Crim Pro/Con Law in 1L or 2L, but you will take those courses. You will also take Evidence; Wills & Trusts; Business Associations/Corporations so on and so on. In these courses you will read Supreme Court Cases and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different law schools and the law is the same whether you attend Cooley or Harvard.

The rankings mean very little and in my opinion nothing particular with the schools you are mentioning as it is very possible Wake Forest will not be ranked lower than Ohio State by the time you graduate. Nobody really cares about the rankings in all honesty, but if there was someone who did these schools are so close in caliber that they alternate here is a list of where these three schools have ranked over the last 5 years.

In 2010 Wake Forest was 44th and Ohio State was 34th. Today both schools are in a five way tie for 31st.

So if you choose Ohio State over Wake Forest based on rankings in 2010 when you graduated in 2014 your choice would have been pointless, because they are now in the same exact spot. Your whole life experience of being in Columbus Ohio or Salem-Winston North Carolina would certainly have mattered, but the rankings at graduation, which honestly in mean nothing in the real world wouldn't even matter if they were important, because they are now in the same exact spot.

Specific Ranking Breakdown below and here is a link to the info for verification.

Wake Forest:
2009: 40th
2010: 4 way tie for 38th
2011: 39th
2012: tied for 44th
2013: tied for 36th
2014: 5 way tie for 31st

Florida State:
2009: 51st
2010: Tied for 54th
2011: Tied for 50th
2012: 3 way tie for 51st
2013: 3 way tie for 48th
2014: 45th.

Ohio State
2009: Three way tie for 35th
2010: Three way tie for 34th
2011: Three way tie for 35th
2012: Tied for 39th
2013: Tied for 36th
2014: Five way tie for 31st with one of the five schools they tied with is your other Candidate Wake Forest (which of the five schools ranked 31st is actually better? Is Wake Forest actually 36th? Who knows more importantly who cares?

Please do not make a decision on any of these schools based on ranking it is very possible whatever school you choose based on ranking will end up being lower by the time you graduate etc. Florida, North Carolina and Ohio however, will result in very different life experiences so I encourage you to analyze, which of those is best for you and to not listen to a for-profit, unregulated magazine to make a life altering decision. The U.S. News formula is not based on anything it is people filing out a scantron from 1-5 and there is no science behind it, which is why rankings change drastically year by year. U.S. News is not doing anything wrong they are just offering an opinion to make money and if you want to make a life altering decision based on it that is your call.

Good luck whatever you decide.