A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

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reasonabledoubt
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A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby reasonabledoubt » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:12 pm

The more I think, nay, obsess over the considerations of law school choice, the more I think it's either scholarship, or no go.

I'm starting to think (considering dozens of externalities, risks, economy, future constraints from debt and more) that the only way law school is worth it is if it's paid for.

There are unemployed T-14 JD's (not to mention seasoned lawyers who lost their jobs) all over the place. How would you like to be one of them with 150k+ of debt and a $1,500+/month student loan payment? That payment would factor into your debt-to-income ratio when you attempt to buy a house as well. It might be impossible to even buy a house with this debt unless you secure a very unlikely salary these days. I don't think the economy will be fully recovered by 2013.

Who else has been increasingly debt-averse on these boards? My current sensibility on the matter is I'd rather go to a top-50 with full (or close to) scholarship than a T-14 at sticker price. I'm starting to think sticker price = sucker price.

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thickfreakness
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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby thickfreakness » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:43 pm

I agree. I've applied to a few T14 schools fishing for a scholarship, but I'm probably not going to any of them without at least a half or close to half tuition scholarship. I've got a full ride lined up at a T30 school that I'll take in a heartbeat if none of the top schools ante up.

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reasonabledoubt
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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby reasonabledoubt » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:50 pm

thickfreakness wrote:I agree. I've applied to a few T14 schools fishing for a scholarship, but I'm probably not going to any of them without at least a half or close to half tuition scholarship. I've got a full ride lined up at a T30 school that I'll take in a heartbeat if none of the top schools ante up.


TITCR.... and I think, if enough of the other highly qualified applicants start thinking the same way.... the top 30 to 60 law schools of the country are invariably going to rise sharply in rankings due to the stats of their incoming, debt-averse classes.

This might be a win for everyone.... minus the T-14's that aren't coughing up any $$$.

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby stratocophic » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:51 pm

reasonabledoubt wrote:
thickfreakness wrote:I agree. I've applied to a few T14 schools fishing for a scholarship, but I'm probably not going to any of them without at least a half or close to half tuition scholarship. I've got a full ride lined up at a T30 school that I'll take in a heartbeat if none of the top schools ante up.


TITCR.... and I think, if enough of the other highly qualified applicants start thinking the same way.... the top 30 to 60 law schools of the country are invariably going to rise sharply in rankings due to the stats of their incoming, debt-averse classes.

This might be a win for everyone.... minus the T-14's that aren't coughing up any $$$.


Yeeeeeeeah. Good luck with that one. It may make a small difference for 3-5 schools, but they can't all rise into the top 30... and 90-95% of those 30 schools probably won't. I doubt that USC or Minnesota is going to lose much sleep over this unlikely occurrence, much less Cornell or GULC.

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:14 pm

reasonabledoubt wrote:The more I think, nay, obsess over the considerations of law school choice, the more I think it's either scholarship, or no go.

I'm starting to think (considering dozens of externalities, risks, economy, future constraints from debt and more) that the only way law school is worth it is if it's paid for.

There are unemployed T-14 JD's (not to mention seasoned lawyers who lost their jobs) all over the place. How would you like to be one of them with 150k+ of debt and a $1,500+/month student loan payment? That payment would factor into your debt-to-income ratio when you attempt to buy a house as well. It might be impossible to even buy a house with this debt unless you secure a very unlikely salary these days. I don't think the economy will be fully recovered by 2013.

Who else has been increasingly debt-averse on these boards? My current sensibility on the matter is I'd rather go to a top-50 with full (or close to) scholarship than a T-14 at sticker price. I'm starting to think sticker price = sucker price.


T14 still has much better job prospects than the rest of the T1. Personally I'd rather risk 200K for a 50-50 shot at big law, than risk 45k (cost of living) for only a 10% shot at it. And if you can't hit median at a T14, you aren't hitting top 10% at a T1.

Remember you just aren't spending the money, you are spending three years of your life (potential money earned during that time, time spent developing a career), and you are picking a career you are going to have to live with.

I think that ITE, going to the better school may be more important than ever. Because when it used to be top 1/3 from a T1 got big law, and top 2/3 from a T14, I think I might have taken the money at the T1. But I'm not going to bet three years of my life that I can get top 10% at a T1. Too risky.

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby stratocophic » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:19 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
reasonabledoubt wrote:The more I think, nay, obsess over the considerations of law school choice, the more I think it's either scholarship, or no go.

I'm starting to think (considering dozens of externalities, risks, economy, future constraints from debt and more) that the only way law school is worth it is if it's paid for.

There are unemployed T-14 JD's (not to mention seasoned lawyers who lost their jobs) all over the place. How would you like to be one of them with 150k+ of debt and a $1,500+/month student loan payment? That payment would factor into your debt-to-income ratio when you attempt to buy a house as well. It might be impossible to even buy a house with this debt unless you secure a very unlikely salary these days. I don't think the economy will be fully recovered by 2013.

Who else has been increasingly debt-averse on these boards? My current sensibility on the matter is I'd rather go to a top-50 with full (or close to) scholarship than a T-14 at sticker price. I'm starting to think sticker price = sucker price.


T14 still has much better job prospects than the rest of the T1. Personally I'd rather risk 200K for a 50-50 shot at big law, than risk 45k (cost of living) for only a 10% shot at it. And if you can't hit median at a T14, you aren't hitting top 10% at a T1.

Remember you just aren't spending the money, you are spending three years of your life (potential money earned during that time, time spent developing a career), and you are picking a career you are going to have to live with.

I think that ITE, going to the better school may be more important than ever. Because when it used to be top 1/3 from a T1 got big law, and top 2/3 from a T14, I think I might have taken the money at the T1. But I'm not going to bet three years of my life that I can get top 10% at a T1. Too risky.


Engineers are prestige whores because we understand stats better than econ 8)

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby scribelaw » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:20 pm

Desert Fox, I agree with your logic.

But I think the $200k range is a lot to borrow-- I don't think sticker is worth it anywhere outside the T6.

Still, I think borrowing $120k from a T10 is a better bet than borrowing $50k from a T30.

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby lawschooliseasy » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:21 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
reasonabledoubt wrote:The more I think, nay, obsess over the considerations of law school choice, the more I think it's either scholarship, or no go.

I'm starting to think (considering dozens of externalities, risks, economy, future constraints from debt and more) that the only way law school is worth it is if it's paid for.

There are unemployed T-14 JD's (not to mention seasoned lawyers who lost their jobs) all over the place. How would you like to be one of them with 150k+ of debt and a $1,500+/month student loan payment? That payment would factor into your debt-to-income ratio when you attempt to buy a house as well. It might be impossible to even buy a house with this debt unless you secure a very unlikely salary these days. I don't think the economy will be fully recovered by 2013.

Who else has been increasingly debt-averse on these boards? My current sensibility on the matter is I'd rather go to a top-50 with full (or close to) scholarship than a T-14 at sticker price. I'm starting to think sticker price = sucker price.


T14 still has much better job prospects than the rest of the T1. Personally I'd rather risk 200K for a 50-50 shot at big law, than risk 45k (cost of living) for only a 10% shot at it. And if you can't hit median at a T14, you aren't hitting top 10% at a T1.

Remember you just aren't spending the money, you are spending three years of your life (potential money earned during that time, time spent developing a career), and you are picking a career you are going to have to live with.

I think that ITE, going to the better school may be more important than ever. Because when it used to be top 1/3 from a T1 got big law, and top 2/3 from a T14, I think I might have taken the money at the T1. But I'm not going to bet three years of my life that I can get top 10% at a T1. Too risky.


If you consider that most lawyers are probably going to wind up with $60,000 salaries out of school, $45,000 looks a lot more manageable than $200,000. Sure, T14 has better prospects, but there's still a chance of getting crushed with debt without dynamite career prospects. And, believe it or not, there are some people that wouldn't do big law even if they had the opportunity. **GASP**

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby stratocophic » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:26 pm

lawschooliseasy wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
reasonabledoubt wrote:The more I think, nay, obsess over the considerations of law school choice, the more I think it's either scholarship, or no go.

I'm starting to think (considering dozens of externalities, risks, economy, future constraints from debt and more) that the only way law school is worth it is if it's paid for.

There are unemployed T-14 JD's (not to mention seasoned lawyers who lost their jobs) all over the place. How would you like to be one of them with 150k+ of debt and a $1,500+/month student loan payment? That payment would factor into your debt-to-income ratio when you attempt to buy a house as well. It might be impossible to even buy a house with this debt unless you secure a very unlikely salary these days. I don't think the economy will be fully recovered by 2013.

Who else has been increasingly debt-averse on these boards? My current sensibility on the matter is I'd rather go to a top-50 with full (or close to) scholarship than a T-14 at sticker price. I'm starting to think sticker price = sucker price.


T14 still has much better job prospects than the rest of the T1. Personally I'd rather risk 200K for a 50-50 shot at big law, than risk 45k (cost of living) for only a 10% shot at it. And if you can't hit median at a T14, you aren't hitting top 10% at a T1.

Remember you just aren't spending the money, you are spending three years of your life (potential money earned during that time, time spent developing a career), and you are picking a career you are going to have to live with.

I think that ITE, going to the better school may be more important than ever. Because when it used to be top 1/3 from a T1 got big law, and top 2/3 from a T14, I think I might have taken the money at the T1. But I'm not going to bet three years of my life that I can get top 10% at a T1. Too risky.


If you consider that most lawyers are probably going to wind up with $60,000 salaries out of school, $45,000 looks a lot more manageable than $200,000. Sure, T14 has better prospects, but there's still a chance of getting crushed with debt without dynamite career prospects. And, believe it or not, there are some people that wouldn't do big law even if they had the opportunity. **GASP**


Then it's a function of whether you're willing to do big law or not. If someone's going to be making 160 or more after coming out of school minus any potential bonuses or whatever, 135K doesn't look so bad either. Not that biglaw's a guarantee, but neither is the 60K if you end up below median at a T1 vs. a T14.

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby dresden doll » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:34 pm

scribelaw wrote:Desert Fox, I agree with your logic.

But I think the $200k range is a lot to borrow-- I don't think sticker is worth it anywhere outside the T6.

Still, I think borrowing $120k from a T10 is a better bet than borrowing $50k from a T30.


This seems credited.

And that's coming from a T6 1L, btw. I'm not paying sticker price, but I still choke thinking about my loan as well as the fact that I could have attended WUSTL for free. (To be fair, I'd probably still make the same decision because I have no interest in being confined to Midwest and am interested in academia.)

Full ride with no strings attached from a school in the region where you're positive you care to stay indefinitely (say, Fordham for NYC lovers) = win over a sticker price at the vast majority of T14s (including my school).

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:51 am

Desert Fox wrote:T14 still has much better job prospects than the rest of the T1. Personally I'd rather risk 200K for a 50-50 shot at big law, than risk 45k (cost of living) for only a 10% shot at it. And if you can't hit median at a T14, you aren't hitting top 10% at a T1.

Remember you just aren't spending the money, you are spending three years of your life (potential money earned during that time, time spent developing a career), and you are picking a career you are going to have to live with.

I think that ITE, going to the better school may be more important than ever. Because when it used to be top 1/3 from a T1 got big law, and top 2/3 from a T14, I think I might have taken the money at the T1. But I'm not going to bet three years of my life that I can get top 10% at a T1. Too risky.


Maybe we should ask you this same question when you are a 2L who didn't get biglaw, have $200K in debt racked up, and no real way of paying it off except doing a 30 year repayment (in other words, most of your working life). J/K, of course, but purely quantitatively speaking the T1 makes more sense. While the T1 in your scenario would leave you with only a 10% shot at biglaw, the consequences of not getting biglaw aren't that bad. Paying off $45K in debt with a job that pays $50K is manageable. You interest rate would be 6.8% (i.e. you can borrow up to $20,500 from stafford). So 6.8% * $45K = $3,060 in interest your first year out of school, which is very manageable on a $50k salary. However, worst case scenario at a t14 (and by t14 I assume you mean t12 since GULC & Cornell got pwnd this year from everything I've heard), borrow $200K, and leave with that same $50K job (i.e. you don't get biglaw). Your interest rate would be roughly 8%, since you would be borrowing heavily from GradPLUS @ 8.5%. $200K * 8% = $16K in interest your first year out of school!! Your first year payment would be roughly $25K (assuming you want to repay your loans in a standard 10 year repayment). Your post-tax income on $50K is ~$35K. That leaves you with 10K to live off, which is makes this salary very unmanageable.

BUT

I think the problem is you are all trying to predict the future, and are predicting that it will remain static, which doesn't make a ton of sense. It's really all just a guess as to what will happen and no one can predict that. In all reality, c/o 2011 made their decisions on law school based on 2007 job stats. No one knew it would be anywhere near this shitty this year. We are the ones that should have been making decisions based on where we got a huge scholarship or not have attended at all (in addition to working harder to avoid the median -- but most people were fine with the idea of median last year), but there was no way anyone could have predicted what was going to happen with OCI this year in 2008. The same holds true here. Odds are things are going to get better by OCI for summer of 2012, but who knows how much (one thing you can be pretty certain about is that they will be better then c/o 2011, but its all a guess as to how much). The best thing you can do at this point is if you are risk adverse, then take the scholly at at lower ranked school. And if you are OK with the idea of gambling a lifetime worth of debt on the economy, then go to the t14 because if the economy picks up and you are at the median or even below it, then you will still make a lot of money (just look at c/o 2007 stats -- even people at the bottom of the class managed to find work in firms 50+, and those firms average around $100K /year starting). Also, the big thing to realize is that you are not necessarily gambling on yourself and how you do, but on what the economy does. It's really no better then gambling in the stock market. As for biglaw, you are gambling $200K on margin on a few things: 1) what the economy does, 2) how you perform on a total of 10 days (6 exams + 4 OCI interview days -- remember callbacks aren't an issue for you if you mess up one of those 6 exam days or the 4 OCI days).

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby reasonabledoubt » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:58 am

jayzon wrote:ITT: We try to perform risk/reward with entirely subjective variables, hoping to reach an objective conclusion.


In all fairness I think we aim to reach even subjective conclusions...... any conclusions feel warm upon my loins right now.

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby wadeny » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:58 am

thickfreakness wrote:I agree. I've applied to a few T14 schools fishing for a scholarship, but I'm probably not going to any of them without at least a half or close to half tuition scholarship. I've got a full ride lined up at a T30 school that I'll take in a heartbeat if none of the top schools ante up.


Ideally, you could get a lot of $$$ from a T14 (with no strings attached), but just be careful to see what the requirements of a scholarship are before committing anywhere, especially at a lower ranked school. For example, maintaining a 3.0 GPA might seem reasonable to many people, but the curve might be brutal and you might end up losing your scholarship. Also, I don't know how true this is, but I've heard how some schools might even stack sections to make it even harder to meet the scholarship requirements.

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:16 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:and by t14 I assume you mean t12 since GULC & Cornell got pwnd this year from everything I've heard.

Any idea when the most recent placement numbers come out? I'm sure a lot of current applicants would be very interested to see those before putting down seat deposits. This one from last year was dated in late February, is that when we'd expect to see that this year?

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... hbxlogin=1

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby UFMatt » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:47 pm

barrinmb wrote:Engineers are prestige whores because we understand stats better than econ 8)


Unless I'm terribly mistaken, future IP attorneys don't need to worry about school ranking to the same extent in order to land a big law IP job. If Desert Fox is an engineer, why take out $200k in loans when $45k elsewhere would also provide excellent odds of landing the same job? I talked with an IP attorney recently who went to a T50 for next to nothing. She has a job with a bigtime IP firm and was mentioning how she was working with Harvard grads who were buried in massive debt.

Will there be a T14 boost for IP big law? Yeah, but I have a hard time believing it would be significant. There just aren't that many law students with technical backgrounds in the pipeline. If I'm wrong and someone has the references to prove it then by all means post them, but from what I've gleaned from various sources indicates that IP big law is a different beast.

/ignore if Desert Fox is not planning on IP law.

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby awesomepossum » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:55 pm

UFMatt wrote:
barrinmb wrote:Engineers are prestige whores because we understand stats better than econ 8)


Unless I'm terribly mistaken, future IP attorneys don't need to worry about school ranking to the same extent in order to land a big law IP job. If Desert Fox is an engineer, why take out $200k in loans when $45k elsewhere would also provide excellent odds of landing the same job? I talked with an IP attorney recently who went to a T50 for next to nothing. She has a job with a bigtime IP firm and was mentioning how she was working with Harvard grads who were buried in massive debt.

Will there be a T14 boost for IP big law? Yeah, but I have a hard time believing it would be significant. There just aren't that many law students with technical backgrounds in the pipeline. If I'm wrong and someone has the references to prove it then by all means post them, but from what I've gleaned from various sources indicates that IP big law is a different beast.

/ignore if Desert Fox is not planning on IP law.


It really depends. If you're looking to go to a general practice firm with an IP group, then a lot of the standard metrics apply although there is a significant 'boost' for having a technical degree. The reason is that the hiring committees are usually the same ones that are hiring everybody.

I like engineers but I didn't really want to be SURROUNDED by them. I'm also totally uninterested by patent prosecution which makes up a lot of IP boutiques work. Many (most?) GP firms don't do patent pros because they're too expensive to do that sort of commodity work.

IP boutiques have also had a brutal time during this downturn.....at least they've treated incoming associates brutally....specifically the two big boys, F & R and Kenyon2 have been horrible.

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby rayiner » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:07 pm

There is another consideration: what are your alternative prospects? If you're an engineer or an accountant or consultant or whatever, it doesn't make much sense (financially) to go to a T50 even for free if you come out making less than you did out of UG. So your only real options are spending $200k for a T14 with a 50-60% chance of biglaw or not going to law school at all.

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby chadwick218 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:14 pm

rayiner wrote:There is another consideration: what are your alternative prospects? If you're an engineer or an accountant or consultant or whatever, it doesn't make much sense (financially) to go to a T50 even for free if you come out making less than you did out of UG. So your only real options are spending $200k for a T14 with a 50-60% chance of biglaw or not going to law school at all.


+1 ... I faced this very same issue after having worked 5+ years in public accounting. Hence, I wanted to give myself every shot possible at landing a big law job and at a T50 this becomes much less likely outside of the top 10-20% of the class.

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby sibley » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:15 pm

I want a scholarship that will cover COL...

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby chadwick218 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:17 pm

I reached the point last cycle where had I not cracked the T14 (even at sticker), I was going to hold off another year altogether. Perhaps I should have waited, retook, and applied ED, but I was ready to leave my former career behind me.

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby dextermorgan » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:20 pm

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Luckily I have plenty of other options to ride out the next few years. I am not going to decide to go in debt to attend a T10 or limit myself to a T30 with a full ride until I can actually see where the legal market is heading.

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby scribelaw » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:23 pm

sibley wrote:I want a scholarship that will cover COL...


+1.

Even if you get full-tuition at a place like BU or GW, you still could end up borrowing 15-20k a year to cover COL, health insurance, books, fees.

At that point, I'd rather take a half or one/third tuition scholly at someplace like MVPN. If I'm going to be borrowing a signifigant amount anyway, might as well go someplace that will actually give me reasonable odds of getting a good job.

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby ggocat » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:25 pm

sibley wrote:I want a scholarship that will cover COL...

Some schools offer stipends. http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 15&t=87332

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chadwick218
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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby chadwick218 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:25 pm

dextermorgan wrote:I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Luckily I have plenty of other options to ride out the next few years. I am not going to decide to go in debt to attend a T10 or limit myself to a T30 with a full ride until I can actually see where the legal market is heading.


I think that outside of a very slight uptick in hiring this coming fall over last fall, the legal market as we see it now is here to stay!

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Re: A Perspective: $cholarship from a LS or no go to that LS.

Postby awesomepossum » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:33 pm

chadwick218 wrote:
dextermorgan wrote:I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Luckily I have plenty of other options to ride out the next few years. I am not going to decide to go in debt to attend a T10 or limit myself to a T30 with a full ride until I can actually see where the legal market is heading.


I think that outside of a very slight uptick in hiring this coming fall over last fall, the legal market as we see it now is here to stay!



Having talked to career services and some other folks at the law school....I think my answer is nobody has the slightest clue.

There is some feeling however, that this years 2Ls had it worst.




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