scribelaw wrote:EijiMiyake wrote:dutchstriker wrote:Tangerine Gleam wrote:Considering that you're thinking public sector in the long run -- or, more importantly, that you're pretty open-minded and unsure about what field you really want to pursue -- I'd definitely say take one of the full rides. You'll have a free JD from a top school and no debt to weigh you down. If you may only be interested in a few years of Biglaw, I see especially big benefits to having low debt; you'll have the freedom to move laterally into various career paths without having to worry about making a few decades of $1200 monthly payments for your Harvard education.
You may already know this, but any job in nonprofit, government, or academia qualifies for Harvard's LIPP, even if it is not law-related. Just for the OP to keep in mind.
LIPP is great, but let's be real - the debt will still be a noticeable burden on a 60-80k salary.
According to Paycheck city - 60k yields a monthly salary of ~ 3100 in CA. paying 500 of that won't break you, but it will still be tough to save for a home, take nice vacations once in awhile, or buy a car.
I don't know about CA, but only taking home $3,100 from a salary of $60k isn't right. At that salary, your federal taxes should be in the 17-18 percent range (including social security withholding). If you're in govt work, health care premiums will be negligible and most likely, they'll have a pension plan rather than a 401k to which you contribute. Your take-home pay would be more like $4,000 a month.
I think your take home pay would fall somewhere between the two, somewhere around 3500. CA's income tax rate for a salary between 47,000 and 1 million is 9.3%. At least half of what you take home will probably go towards rent. Given the COL, at ~3500 month, truth is you will probably have a lot of trouble saving down payment for a house or saving for retirement.