T14 worth it for environmental law?

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ccs224
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby ccs224 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:34 am

kumba84 wrote:Wow. I suddenly care whether GULC is going to accept me after more than a month under review. I was pretty happy with my NYU and Boalt acceptances, but this is an amazing LRAP.


All three of those schools have pretty great LRAPs, but if I'm not mistaken, NYU and Boalt both allow for total loan forgiveness after 5 years in PI, versus GULC's 10, right?

postitnotes
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby postitnotes » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:36 am

ccs224 wrote:
kumba84 wrote:Wow. I suddenly care whether GULC is going to accept me after more than a month under review. I was pretty happy with my NYU and Boalt acceptances, but this is an amazing LRAP.


All three of those schools have pretty great LRAPs, but if I'm not mistaken, NYU and Boalt both allow for total loan forgiveness after 5 years in PI, versus GULC's 10, right?


No....where do people get this information? NYU and Boalt do not allow total loan forgiveness after 5 years in PI. Not sure about GULC, but that sounds wrong too. The amount of misinformation on TLS is disturbing.

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6190.htm

For example, at Berkeley you can only use LRAP (up to a max of 10 years) only if you owe over $100,000 debt. If your annual salary is over 65,000 you pay a pro-rated imputed contribution, meaning that you pay a certain percentage of your debt yourself.

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ccs224
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby ccs224 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:54 am

postitnotes wrote:No....where do people get this information? NYU and Boalt do not allow total loan forgiveness after 5 years in PI. Not sure about GULC, but that sounds wrong too. The amount of misinformation on TLS is disturbing.

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6190.htm

For example, at Berkeley you can only use LRAP (up to a max of 10 years) only if you owe over $100,000 debt. If your annual salary is over 65,000 you pay a pro-rated imputed contribution, meaning that you pay a certain percentage of your debt yourself.


Yes, all of the LRAP programs have pro-rated contributes after you hit a certain income cap, with GULC's being on the higher end, but I do believe both Berk and NYU offer forgiveness earlier than GULC. I'm no good at numbers though, so maybe you could explain this to me:
LRAP loans are forgiven once participants accrue 36 months of eligibility in the program. At the end of the year during which a participant reaches 36 months of eligibility, all outstanding LRAP loans made by the program will be forgiven, and loans made in subsequent years to such participants will be forgiven annually.

http://www.law.nyu.edu/financialaid/lra ... /index.htm

yeff
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby yeff » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:58 am

postitnotes wrote:
ccs224 wrote:
kumba84 wrote:Wow. I suddenly care whether GULC is going to accept me after more than a month under review. I was pretty happy with my NYU and Boalt acceptances, but this is an amazing LRAP.


All three of those schools have pretty great LRAPs, but if I'm not mistaken, NYU and Boalt both allow for total loan forgiveness after 5 years in PI, versus GULC's 10, right?


No....where do people get this information? NYU and Boalt do not allow total loan forgiveness after 5 years in PI. Not sure about GULC, but that sounds wrong too. The amount of misinformation on TLS is disturbing.

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6190.htm

For example, at Berkeley you can only use LRAP (up to a max of 10 years) only if you owe over $100,000 debt. If your annual salary is over 65,000 you pay a pro-rated imputed contribution, meaning that you pay a certain percentage of your debt yourself.


As far as GULC goes, total forgiveness after 10 years is the policy that the Assistant Dean for Financial Aid explained to me during my visit. As he described it, the LRAP also can also be non-consecutive, with income-based repayment in the interim. This means you even could work at a gov't agency or 501c3 for 5 years, and they'd cover all the loans, then take 2 years off to have a kid, then go work 5 more years somewhere, and still pay $0 unless your income goes above $75k (more likely in govt work than non-profit).

Still scary taking on debt, but this type of support is definitely a good thing.

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rayiner
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby rayiner » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:03 am

RM speaks troof yo!

postitnotes
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby postitnotes » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:15 am

ccs224 wrote:
postitnotes wrote:No....where do people get this information? NYU and Boalt do not allow total loan forgiveness after 5 years in PI. Not sure about GULC, but that sounds wrong too. The amount of misinformation on TLS is disturbing.

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6190.htm

For example, at Berkeley you can only use LRAP (up to a max of 10 years) only if you owe over $100,000 debt. If your annual salary is over 65,000 you pay a pro-rated imputed contribution, meaning that you pay a certain percentage of your debt yourself.


Yes, all of the LRAP programs have pro-rated contributes after you hit a certain income cap, with GULC's being on the higher end, but I do believe both Berk and NYU offer forgiveness earlier than GULC. I'm no good at numbers though, so maybe you could explain this to me:
LRAP loans are forgiven once participants accrue 36 months of eligibility in the program. At the end of the year during which a participant reaches 36 months of eligibility, all outstanding LRAP loans made by the program will be forgiven, and loans made in subsequent years to such participants will be forgiven annually.

http://www.law.nyu.edu/financialaid/lra ... /index.htm


You're misreading it. It says "at the end of the year during which a participant reaches 36 months of eligibility, all OUTSTANDING LRAP LOANS" will be forgiven. HOWEVER, in SUBSEQUENT YEARS, they will be forgiven ANNUALLY. Hence you will have 3 years worth forgiven. You have to stay in the program and receive new LRAP loans have them individually forgiven annually after that, if you stay in qualified employment.

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ccs224
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby ccs224 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:19 am

postitnotes wrote:You're misreading it. It says "at the end of the yar during which a participant reaches 36 months of eligibility, all OUTSTANDING LRAP LOANS" will be forgiven. HOWEVER, in SUBSEQUENT YEARS, they will be forgiven ANNUALLY. Hence you will have 3 years worth forgiven. You have to stay in the program and receive new LRAP loans have them individually forgiven annually after that.


Alright. Still sounds pretty nice to me.

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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby postitnotes » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:31 am

ccs224 wrote:
postitnotes wrote:You're misreading it. It says "at the end of the yar during which a participant reaches 36 months of eligibility, all OUTSTANDING LRAP LOANS" will be forgiven. HOWEVER, in SUBSEQUENT YEARS, they will be forgiven ANNUALLY. Hence you will have 3 years worth forgiven. You have to stay in the program and receive new LRAP loans have them individually forgiven annually after that.


Alright. Still sounds pretty nice to me.


NYU's LRAP is one of the best ones of the T-14, but it's still not as easy as a lot say on TLS. You still have to maintain qualifying employment, not marry a wealthy spouse, etc. or else you may have to pay back NYU's LRAP loans at an amortized rate of 8%. In addition your total net worth, etc. are, to my understanding from reading the page, recalculated depending upon any changed status, meaning that you may end up not qualifying for the program if you accrue a net worth of over $20,000. (Hence, refer to quote: "Participants must have total net worth (assets minus liabilities) of less than $20,000.") However, you can construe this information as regarding solely the initial starting point of using LRAP, although it doesn't say that anywhere. Since you have to submit changes in your status within 30 days of your notice of changed circumstances, it seems that the more likely construction is that if you have increased assets, you end up disqualifying. "Changes that must be reported include changes in salary, marital status, employment, and loan repayment status or amount." This does not specifically say that a changed net worth needs to be reported, but it seems likely given that under the "how is my net worth calculated" section, it refers to the need to report changes in marital status and how you calculate your spouse's net worth. Furthermore, since the word mentions "include," but not "limited to," then it seems likely that you must report pretty much any change.

I just briefly perused the page so I'm not exactly sure if I am right, but my general point is that there are a lot of fine points that people should be aware of before they think that they can just automatically rely on LRAP (or IBR) for that matter. And I don't think any school automatically wipes out your loans after a period of 5 years.

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nematoad
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby nematoad » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:53 am

reasonable_man wrote:[

5) I think that threads like this are mostly silly because the idea of specializing is unrealistic for almost anyone, even people at top schools, especially ITE. You get hired by your first firm based on only a few factors and you take whatever position they have available to you.


so do you think going into law school on the premise of eventually practicing in one or maybe two fields is an unreasonable thought process?

PoliticalJunkie
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby PoliticalJunkie » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:08 am

with T14 numbers you should get nice money from Vermont - being the best school for environmental law as per USNWR for what it's worth. No debt and making PI money wouldn't be bad if that's what you want.

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kumba84
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby kumba84 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:11 am

ccs224 wrote:
postitnotes wrote:No....where do people get this information? NYU and Boalt do not allow total loan forgiveness after 5 years in PI. Not sure about GULC, but that sounds wrong too. The amount of misinformation on TLS is disturbing.

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6190.htm

For example, at Berkeley you can only use LRAP (up to a max of 10 years) only if you owe over $100,000 debt. If your annual salary is over 65,000 you pay a pro-rated imputed contribution, meaning that you pay a certain percentage of your debt yourself.


Sadly, I will be more than $100,000 in debt. From what I can tell from Berkeley's program, they don't take assets into account (however, there may be fine print that's not on the website). If that's true, that's a huge incentive since I'm hoping to own a home or at least have some retirement savings in the ten years following graduation.

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ccs224
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby ccs224 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:31 am

kumba84 wrote:Sadly, I will be more than $100,000 in debt. From what I can tell from Berkeley's program, they don't take assets into account (however, there may be fine print that's not on the website). If that's true, that's a huge incentive since I'm hoping to own a home or at least have some retirement savings in the ten years following graduation.


It seems like the question here is whether it's worth taking on so much debt for a program such as Berkeley's, versus Vermont or L&C, if one is solely focused on environmental law. For my part, I think it is and would be happy to go the Berkeley, NYU, GULC, UCLA, Vandy, etc (I'm going to leave out Yale and Stanford, because, really) and ride out some LRAPs for greater name recognition and hopefully more ability to get good green law jobs (accept me please Berkeley, NYU, GULC and UCLA - thanks Vandy!) but I've also been given basically a full ride to Lewis and Clark, which is currently very tempting. I'd say that if I don't get into any of those higher ranked programs, it will really boil down to UW (I want to be in the PNW) or L&C, but if I do, I'm there. Am I alone on this?

postitnotes
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby postitnotes » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:07 am

kumba84 wrote:
ccs224 wrote:
postitnotes wrote:No....where do people get this information? NYU and Boalt do not allow total loan forgiveness after 5 years in PI. Not sure about GULC, but that sounds wrong too. The amount of misinformation on TLS is disturbing.

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6190.htm

For example, at Berkeley you can only use LRAP (up to a max of 10 years) only if you owe over $100,000 debt. If your annual salary is over 65,000 you pay a pro-rated imputed contribution, meaning that you pay a certain percentage of your debt yourself.


Sadly, I will be more than $100,000 in debt. From what I can tell from Berkeley's program, they don't take assets into account (however, there may be fine print that's not on the website). If that's true, that's a huge incentive since I'm hoping to own a home or at least have some retirement savings in the ten years following graduation.


Berkeley Law wrote: 10. Limited Funds Contingency and Right to Modify
In the event that funding is not sufficient to fully fund all qualified applicants in the manner anticipated above, the law school will select LRAP recipients and determine award levels; available funds may be disbursed pro rata, or awards may be adjusted on an individual basis considering salary and total loan indebtedness.


Berkeley Law wrote:I noticed on the website that the cap on principal and capitalized interest covered by the Standard track is $100k. Does that mean I will be responsible for making my own payments for the extra $50k I will owe, even if I am earning less than $65k/year?

Yes, that is correct. Graduates with student loan debt over $100,000 have the option to enroll into the IBR track. You may schedule a telephone appointment with the LRAP coordinator for a comparison analysis tailored to your specific situation.


Not sure if Boalt accounts for assets. The site isn't as detailed as NYU's. I did find the above two quotes on Boalt's website though. I think it's interesting that you need to have at least 100k debt to even possibly qualify for LRAP, but they will only pay a max of 100k (of principal AND capitalized interest), even if your income is below 65k. This means that if the tuition keeps increasing and you take out 180k in loans, you will be liable for at least 80k no matter what, if you are on the standard track. (Theoretically speaking, since the 100k covers capitalized interest too, that means you are likely paying more than 80k of the actual principal on your own as most of your loans will be unsubsidized and will accrue capitalized interest while you are in law school.) Additionally, Berkeley reserves the right to filter and choose applicants that qualify for LRAP in addition the the LRAP loans allotted to a selected applicant if there are limited funds. I personally think NYU's LRAP program sounds much safer, despite NYU for sure taking into account assets.

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gatorlion
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby gatorlion » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:24 am

Having talked with environmental lawyers and a couple environmental law professors, I've come to the previously stated conclusion that if you know you want to practice environmental law and have the scores to get into decent schools, go to the best school you can gain entrance into. However, it is reasonable to keep in mind the opportunities available at each law school to learn about the field of environmental law. For example, I would never in a million years choose to attend Northwestern over UVA, Chicago over Boalt, or Cornell over GULC. Each of the latter schools boast infinitely more resources in environmental law than their similarly ranked counterparts. This is how I'm approaching my decision making process based on my commitment to environmental law (hypothetically):

Note: Schools with strong environmental law programs are indicated by an asterisk (*)

Evenly ranked (with vastly dissimilar resources)
Chicago (#6) v. Boalt* (#6) = BOALT

Disparately ranked (with vastly dissimilar resources)
UIUC (#23) v. GW* (#28) = GW

Greatly disparate ranks (with vastly dissimilar resources)
SMU (#49) v. L&C* (#61) = L&C

Multiple tier-straddling ranks (with somewhat similar resources)
UCD* (#35) v. VLS* (T3) = UCD

Multiple tier-straddling ranks (with vastly dissimilar resources)
Iowa (#26) v. VLS* (T3) = VLS

Severely disparate ranks (with vastly dissimilar resources)
Cornell (#13) v. Pace* (T4) = CORNELL

You have to keep in mind things like degree mobility and financial constraints, but this is how I plan to approach making my ultimate decision.

Also, if you are interested more generally in the comparative strengths of environmental law programs, check out my Environmental Law Preference Rankings (as featured on Legal Planet and Environmental Law Prof Blog): http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tXWyWMzdoyb7k-UKYdEBzQQ&output=html

woeisme
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby woeisme » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:09 am

Cornell has a few animal law courses. Pretty good program. PM me for questions if you want.

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kumba84
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Re: T14 worth it for environmental law?

Postby kumba84 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:36 am

postitnotes wrote:
Berkeley Law wrote:I noticed on the website that the cap on principal and capitalized interest covered by the Standard track is $100k. Does that mean I will be responsible for making my own payments for the extra $50k I will owe, even if I am earning less than $65k/year?

Yes, that is correct. Graduates with student loan debt over $100,000 have the option to enroll into the IBR track. You may schedule a telephone appointment with the LRAP coordinator for a comparison analysis tailored to your specific situation.


Not sure if Boalt accounts for assets. The site isn't as detailed as NYU's. I did find the above two quotes on Boalt's website though. I think it's interesting that you need to have at least 100k debt to even possibly qualify for LRAP, but they will only pay a max of 100k (of principal AND capitalized interest), even if your income is below 65k. This means that if the tuition keeps increasing and you take out 180k in loans, you will be liable for at least 80k no matter what, if you are on the standard track. (Theoretically speaking, since the 100k covers capitalized interest too, that means you are likely paying more than 80k of the actual principal on your own as most of your loans will be unsubsidized and will accrue capitalized interest while you are in law school.) Additionally, Berkeley reserves the right to filter and choose applicants that qualify for LRAP in addition the the LRAP loans allotted to a selected applicant if there are limited funds. I personally think NYU's LRAP program sounds much safer, despite NYU for sure taking into account assets.


I think the $100,000 indebtedness cap you're referring to is for pre-2013 grads, who must choose the "standard track" or the "IBR track." For 2013 and beyond, they'll cover more than $100,000 because they're combining their program with IBR, which gives them more bang for their buck. This is what I took from their website, but someone please correct me if I'm misunderstanding it. I'm not very financially literate.




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