Help Pick My Cats’ New Home

Discuss comparisons of various school choices and the various metrics that inform them, including rankings, student life, location, etc.
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Where should I attend?

Emory
3
27%
Alabama
8
73%
 
Total votes: 11

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sunflower
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Help Pick My Cats’ New Home

Post by sunflower » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:47 am

GPA: 3.43
LSAT: 153, 162, 165
URM PR
Severe C&F issues

Emory: $38,000/yr, COA $145,822
Alabama: $36,000/yr, COA $81,931

I calculated COA using the CostComparison Google sheet I found on here.

I understand going to Alabama means I will probably end up in Alabama and that going to Emory means I will probably end up in Georgia.

Similarly, I understand that if I wanted big law, these schools are unlikely to help me get there. I hesitate to retake a fourth time because I outperformed my PT average (163) and I'm at a point where my C&F issues and GPA are not helping me much either. Nonetheless, while I'd like to pursue big law I'm assuming a median outcome. With no ties to either Alabama and Georgia—and no interest in staying in my home state (NM)—I would love to get thoughts on these choices and ask if people think Emory’s higher big law numbers are worth the cost.

Thanks!

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emkay625
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Re: Help Pick My Cats’ New Home

Post by emkay625 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:53 am

Are these your only two schools or just the two at the top of your list?

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sunflower
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Re: Help Pick My Cats’ New Home

Post by sunflower » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:58 am

emkay625 wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:53 am
Are these your only two schools or just the two at the top of your list?
They are at the top of my list. I have other schools like Minnesota with $45k, GW with $35k, Fordham with $30k which I am not considering as much because of the weather, price, and weather/price combo, respectively.

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Stranger
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Re: Help Pick My Cats’ New Home

Post by Stranger » Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:16 am

Does Alabama have one of its infamous grade stipulations on that scholarship?

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sunflower
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Re: Help Pick My Cats’ New Home

Post by sunflower » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:10 am

Stranger wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:16 am
Does Alabama have one of its infamous grade stipulations on that scholarship?
I didn’t know Alabama was infamous for that. I need to maintain good academic standing which is a minimum 2.33 GPA (C+). With a 3.2 median and a grad distribution where 1-5 folks get below a C+, I probably shouldn’t stick with law school if I dip below a 2.33 GPA. So back to your question: I guess so but that stipulation doesn’t feel out of the ordinary.

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Stranger
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Re: Help Pick My Cats’ New Home

Post by Stranger » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:02 am

sunflower wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:10 am
Stranger wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:16 am
Does Alabama have one of its infamous grade stipulations on that scholarship?
I didn’t know Alabama was infamous for that. I need to maintain good academic standing which is a minimum 2.33 GPA (C+). With a 3.2 median and a grad distribution where 1-5 folks get below a C+, I probably shouldn’t stick with law school if I dip below a 2.33 GPA. So back to your question: I guess so but that stipulation doesn’t feel out of the ordinary.
No, that one's not bad. It's a minor risk compared to the stipulations a lot of shadier schools use (see the Denver vs. Michigan thread).

Emory only really offers about a 7.5% better biglaw+FC placement than Alabama. Alabama leaves a higher percentage of its graduates employed in full-time, long-term lawyer positions overall. So, there's a slightly higher maximum payout from Emory, but the baseline expectation from Alabama is easier to reach. Without a strong desire to be in Georgia, I'd say Alabama makes more sense financially. If there aren't any major issues of personal fit, and you're ambivalent as to which state you land in, I suspect you're better off saving the $64K+interest.

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UVA2B
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Re: Help Pick My Cats’ New Home

Post by UVA2B » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:12 am

Stranger wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:02 am
sunflower wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:10 am
Stranger wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:16 am
Does Alabama have one of its infamous grade stipulations on that scholarship?
I didn’t know Alabama was infamous for that. I need to maintain good academic standing which is a minimum 2.33 GPA (C+). With a 3.2 median and a grad distribution where 1-5 folks get below a C+, I probably shouldn’t stick with law school if I dip below a 2.33 GPA. So back to your question: I guess so but that stipulation doesn’t feel out of the ordinary.
No, that one's not bad. It's a minor risk compared to the stipulations a lot of shadier schools use (see the Denver vs. Michigan thread).

Emory only really offers about a 7.5% better biglaw+FC placement than Alabama. Alabama leaves a higher percentage of its graduates employed in full-time, long-term lawyer positions overall. So, there's a slightly higher maximum payout from Emory, but the baseline expectation from Alabama is easier to reach. Without a strong desire to be in Georgia, I'd say Alabama makes more sense financially. If there aren't any major issues of personal fit, and you're ambivalent as to which state you land in, I suspect you're better off saving the $64K+interest.
Jumping on the Alabama train in your case. Stranger is on point on this.

ETA: but if biglaw was a serious consideration for you, you should absolutely retake. Nothing about your profile screams that you couldn't get in to a T13 where biglaw is a reasonable goal that you shoot for confidently. I just want you to know and be very comfortable with that.

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sunflower
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Re: Help Pick My Cats’ New Home

Post by sunflower » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:14 pm

Stranger wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:16 am

Emory only really offers about a 7.5% better biglaw+FC placement than Alabama...$64K+interest.
The Google sheet I used estimates COA with tuition increase and interest.
UVA2B wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:12 am

you should absolutely retake.
I am under two impressions that I hope you guys can help me out with. First, I understand the employment numbers do not lie but I was under the impression that median URMs have an easier time getting diversity hires at big law firms than non-URM students. Granted, I was also under the impression that as a PR URM, I would see a boost—I saw none. Anyway, I've been told that URMs fare better with legal hiring. Is this true or still an overstatement?

My second impression was that 3+ retakes don't look well on an application. The 165 was above my PT average so I'm not sure where I can squeeze more points. Is retaking a fourth time something I should consider more than I have?

With all that considered, if I do not retake, I do understand—and am comfortable with—the likely reality of striking out of big law opportunities due to my school choices.

So the consensus is that Emory's ~7.5% better placement is not worth ~$64k more debt?

Thanks a lot, I really appreciate the input.

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Stranger
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Re: Help Pick My Cats’ New Home

Post by Stranger » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:30 pm

sunflower wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:14 pm
Stranger wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:16 am

Emory only really offers about a 7.5% better biglaw+FC placement than Alabama...$64K+interest.
The Google sheet I used estimates COA with tuition increase and interest.
UVA2B wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:12 am

you should absolutely retake.
I am under two impressions that I hope you guys can help me out with. First, I understand the employment numbers do not lie but I was under the impression that median URMs have an easier time getting diversity hires at big law firms than non-URM students. Granted, I was also under the impression that as a PR URM, I would see a boost—I saw none. Anyway, I've been told that URMs fare better with legal hiring. Is this true or still an overstatement?

My second impression was that 3+ retakes don't look well on an application. The 165 was above my PT average so I'm not sure where I can squeeze more points. Is retaking a fourth time something I should consider more than I have?

With all that considered, if I do not retake, I do understand—and am comfortable with—the likely reality of striking out of big law opportunities due to my school choices.

So the consensus is that Emory's ~7.5% better placement is not worth ~$64k more debt?

Thanks a lot, I really appreciate the input.
I can't help you on URM hiring, alas. Fellow 0L, and white on top of that, so I really can't speak to biglaw hiring preferences. As for why I mentioned interest, I figured you were talking about the total debt at graduation, rather than the total paid over the life of the loan. I used the same spreadsheet, and while it gives that latter figure for various repayment scenarios, the easy to spot number is the one for graduation.

As for a fourth retake, you might aim for June or July. If you get a killer score, I doubt schools will care it's your fourth take. If you don't, you've got Alabama for a good price. But with a killer score (say, 168+), you could be making this choice between schools a step or two up next year. It's one more try to see if that's an option, with a good outcome either way.

Mullens
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Re: Help Pick My Cats’ New Home

Post by Mullens » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:37 pm

Median URMs at T13 schools get a boost in biglaw hiring. I wouldn’t go so far to say that boost will extend to median URMs at Emory or Alabama. For reference, the URMs at my firm from schools ranked outside the T20 all graduated top 25% and a most of them top 10%. You’ll outperform slightly in hiring, but you have to remember that nepotism and other connections factor into hiring at lower ranked schools as much or more than diversity.

181plz
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Re: Help Pick My Cats’ New Home

Post by 181plz » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:34 pm

With regard to the retake, I’d say it’s worthwhile if you think you can do better. 165 is a good score, and if you don’t feel you can do much better, then maybe you’re right. I took the test 4 times myself, but I was always sure that I could outperform the previous score.

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