Here I come with the haterade: I turned down a job in a small law firm here in New Orleans this summer because the commute would've been a logistical nightmare. I also almost ended up volunteering at the New Orleans Public Defender's office, but I ended up realizing that the workload would've been too much given that I'm balancing two jobs right now. Do you realize what the workload is like? This summer I have an hour-long drive each way to work, and the courts are in the middle of nowhere. I routinely stay at the office past business hours, read emails while driving, and bring home work that keeps me up late. And I'm not even a lawyer yet, or even working in biglaw. Here's what you need to know right now about in-house and biglaw. You're not getting in-house without years of experience at another firm. You're not getting biglaw without T14, and even that's not a guarantee. Sure, people will point you to exceptions to the norm who've managed to do well, but even in those cases they are the top grad out of their TTT class of 200. You think you'll do well in 1L because you did well in undergrad? It sounds easy to be even top 15% in a class, but every one of those classmates were A students too in undergrad and high school, and you're ranked relative to everyone else. Then don't worry about law school yet. Graduate, work a few years (maybe in a law firm), and then reevaluate at that point. Also, don't underestimate those who go into law school. It's not about the money as much as not having any other career prospects after a liberal arts degree. I've met many law students who went in for reasons ranging from "want to help the poor" to "just wanted something to do". HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Life events like marriage or children can't be predicted when you are 19. Even if that stuff doesn't happen to you, $30k isn't going to backup you ass when you get in an unfortunate accident and need to pay emergency bills. It's also not going to give you any savings. When you're 29 and others are paying off their mortgages, you'll be scraping by to make car payments and pissed off that "no money" will be the generic response when friends ask you to hang out. right i understand but my thing is i really don't want to have any debt coming out, and i want to stay in new orleans because i love it here. my grades will be good enough for a duke, georgetown, or cornell. but probably not good enough to get a ton of $$$$ from them. If you can get into those schools then beg, borrow, or steal to pay for them. Don't be a dumbass and think short-term. You said you're fine with $30k anyway, so what's a little debt? Education and real estate are the only two things in life that one should get on credit. You'll find that many biglaw or in-house at NOLA are from T14. Those guys might want to live in NOLA too, for the same reasons you do. Overall, the only time you should choose Tulane or LSU on scholarship is when you can't get into a significantly better school.