T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

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T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Duke(1/4 tuition)
11
9%
UVA (1/4 tuition)
80
63%
Northwestern (1/4 tuition)
20
16%
UCLA (sticker)
6
5%
T30-50 local state school (free)
11
9%
 
Total votes: 128

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dontstopbelivin
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T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby dontstopbelivin » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:32 am

I know there are tons of these up, but my own decision is a mix of several existing polls. So I figured, what the heck, I trust my fellow TLSers enough to plan my life for me:

I've had a pretty good cycle, and so now have a hard choice to make. I've been accepted to Duke, Northwestern, and UVA with about 1/4 tuition scholarship (assuming those TBD are similar to what I already have received and/or I can leverage one scholarship to get another elsewhere). I've also been accepted to UCLA with no scholarship, and my local state school in the southwest (ranked in the low T30s-50) with a full ride.

Personal Preferences
- I want to go into PI or intl PI law, ideally DOJ or State Dept (is JAG a viable option for someone not currently in the military? if so, then that)
- I'm also interested in a clerkship
- I'm not sure where I want to practice law, but I'd strongly like the option of either coast
- I don't want to be totally broke for the rest of my life

While DNV seem like the obvious choices, I don't think they translate as well to the west coast. But would UCLA keep me in California for sure? And is it more logical to get a free education (particularly since I'm going into PI and don't have geographical preferences) than to aim for higher rankings?

Any insight/advice/stupid commentary is much appreciated!

eth3n
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby eth3n » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:37 am

You say DOJ, are you aiming for DC?

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im_blue
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby im_blue » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:49 am

Virginia places well on either coast, and beats UCLA on the West Coast. Duke is not far behind, either. Those would be your best bets given your geographic preferences. UCLA places regionally on the West Coast, so it won't get you to the East Coast. Also, debt is less of a concern with PI because you can do IBR, which forgives all debt after 10 years of payments capped at 10% of your income.

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OneKnight
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby OneKnight » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:54 am

UVa for DoJ/JAG/State Department
UVa for clerkship
....
= UVa

Wait. I don't want to sound like a troll...SO --> (Duke or Northwestern if you'd prefer Durham or Chicago...honestly they're peer schools so if you aren't ardently aiming for a DC/Gov't job there's not that huge a difference).

You'll pay off the debt. Don't go to your local state school.

UCLA sticker vs. UVa/Duke/Northwestern($) is an obvious choice unless you are absolutely averse to snow :P

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dontstopbelivin
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby dontstopbelivin » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:47 pm

what if I could negotiate UCLA to match the 1/4 tuition break from other schools? Would that still make it the 4th (or 5th) choice according to the polls?

thanks for your advice, btw!

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im_blue
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby im_blue » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:00 pm

dontstopbelivin wrote:what if I could negotiate UCLA to match the 1/4 tuition break from other schools? Would that still make it the 4th (or 5th) choice according to the polls?

thanks for your advice, btw!

Definitely, I'd even take UVA at sticker vs UCLA with $.

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Havaianas
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby Havaianas » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:01 pm

I'm totally in the same situation - going for Free is such a tempting offer.
just a thought - dont forget that - UVa and Duke are verrry different locations than UCLA

showNprove
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby showNprove » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:10 pm

dontstopbelivin wrote:Personal Preferences
- I want to go into PI or intl PI law, ideally DOJ or State Dept (is JAG a viable option for someone not currently in the military? if so, then that) UVa
- I'm also interested in a clerkship UVa
- I'm not sure where I want to practice law, but I'd strongly like the option of either coast UVa
- I don't want to be totally broke for the rest of my life Local state school for free?

It seems like some of the people who are best off at UVa right now are West Coasters looking to go back after school. If you have West Coast ties, getting a job from UVa shouldn't be too big of a problem, even ITE.

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dontstopbelivin
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby dontstopbelivin » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:05 pm

Why Northwestern over Duke? Anyone care to comment? Or is this just more anti-Duke trolling?

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rayiner
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby rayiner » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:12 pm

dontstopbelivin wrote:Why Northwestern over Duke? Anyone care to comment? Or is this just more anti-Duke trolling?


Duke very likely places better on the coasts than NU.

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im_blue
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby im_blue » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:57 pm

rayiner wrote:
dontstopbelivin wrote:Why Northwestern over Duke? Anyone care to comment? Or is this just more anti-Duke trolling?


Duke very likely places better on the coasts than NU.

Yeah, and that's coming from an NU student. NU's strength is in the Midwest.

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Mattalones
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby Mattalones » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:08 am

I know this is not what people like to hear, but I think that, if you are going into public interest, the take all of the $$$$ you can get. You say that you have a full-ride at a T30 school. That is pretty strong, and you can probably still get a pretty high paying job from there is you change your mind in LS. I think T30 with a full-ride is the way to go!

1/4 tuition at UVA only covers about $11,000, which means you will still be held responsible for about $50,000/yr or $150,000 total. I would NOT do that if I planned to go into public interest anywhere, including UVA.

If you come out of a T30 and go straight into PI, then you can live comfortably on $50,000/yr and work your way up. That is plenty of money if you don't really have bills and your pay will get up towards $100,000 after 8-10 years. By that time, you will likely want to settle down and you'll be able to.

You will get to see your kids, make love to your wife or husband, and enjoy a decent amount of power in the local community while working an almost 9-5 job.

That sounds f*cking AMAZING to me!

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Stringer Bell
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby Stringer Bell » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:11 am

Mattalones wrote:I know this is not what people like to hear, but I think that, if you are going into public interest, the take all of the $$$$ you can get. You say that you have a full-ride at a T30 school. That is pretty strong, and you can probably still get a pretty high paying job from there is you change your mind in LS. I think T30 with a full-ride is the way to go!

1/4 tuition at UVA only covers about $11,000, which means you will still be held responsible for about $50,000/yr or $150,000 total. I would NOT do that if I planned to go into public interest anywhere, including UVA.

If you come out of a T30 and go straight into PI, then you can live comfortably on $50,000/yr and work your way up. That is plenty of money if you don't really have bills and your pay will get up towards $100,000 after 8-10 years. By that time, you will likely want to settle down and you'll be able to.

You will get to see your kids, make love to your wife or husband, and enjoy a decent amount of power in the local community while working an almost 9-5 job.

That sounds f*cking AMAZING to me!


Except that OP is interested in DOJ which is super competitive.

T10+IBR FTW.

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Mattalones
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby Mattalones » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:16 am

Stringer Bell wrote:
Mattalones wrote:I know this is not what people like to hear, but I think that, if you are going into public interest, the take all of the $$$$ you can get. You say that you have a full-ride at a T30 school. That is pretty strong, and you can probably still get a pretty high paying job from there is you change your mind in LS. I think T30 with a full-ride is the way to go!

1/4 tuition at UVA only covers about $11,000, which means you will still be held responsible for about $50,000/yr or $150,000 total. I would NOT do that if I planned to go into public interest anywhere, including UVA.

If you come out of a T30 and go straight into PI, then you can live comfortably on $50,000/yr and work your way up. That is plenty of money if you don't really have bills and your pay will get up towards $100,000 after 8-10 years. By that time, you will likely want to settle down and you'll be able to.

You will get to see your kids, make love to your wife or husband, and enjoy a decent amount of power in the local community while working an almost 9-5 job.

That sounds f*cking AMAZING to me!


Except that OP is interested in DOJ which is super competitive.

T10+IBR FTW.

That is an option, but what that "interest" changes, or if circumstances change, or if something tragic happens? Putting all your eggs in one basket is scary, especially if that basket costs $150,000. There is no way I'd do that if I had a choice not to.

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stratocophic
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby stratocophic » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:22 am

Mattalones wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:
Mattalones wrote:I know this is not what people like to hear, but I think that, if you are going into public interest, the take all of the $$$$ you can get. You say that you have a full-ride at a T30 school. That is pretty strong, and you can probably still get a pretty high paying job from there is you change your mind in LS. I think T30 with a full-ride is the way to go!

1/4 tuition at UVA only covers about $11,000, which means you will still be held responsible for about $50,000/yr or $150,000 total. I would NOT do that if I planned to go into public interest anywhere, including UVA.

If you come out of a T30 and go straight into PI, then you can live comfortably on $50,000/yr and work your way up. That is plenty of money if you don't really have bills and your pay will get up towards $100,000 after 8-10 years. By that time, you will likely want to settle down and you'll be able to.

You will get to see your kids, make love to your wife or husband, and enjoy a decent amount of power in the local community while working an almost 9-5 job.

That sounds f*cking AMAZING to me!


Except that OP is interested in DOJ which is super competitive.

T10+IBR FTW.

That is an option, but what that "interest" changes, or if circumstances change, or if something tragic happens? Putting all your eggs in one basket is scary, especially if that basket costs $150,000. There is no way I'd do that if I had a choice not to.

Then OP goes Biglaw and makes bank so it doesn't matter. Or, if OP is an altruistic sort, PI + LRAP, which makes it pretty much the same as the $$$ at the state school but with a vastly improved degree. There's basically no reason not to go to VDN for OP.

DukeHopeful
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby DukeHopeful » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:27 am

Mattalones wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:
Mattalones wrote:I know this is not what people like to hear, but I think that, if you are going into public interest, the take all of the $$$$ you can get. You say that you have a full-ride at a T30 school. That is pretty strong, and you can probably still get a pretty high paying job from there is you change your mind in LS. I think T30 with a full-ride is the way to go!

1/4 tuition at UVA only covers about $11,000, which means you will still be held responsible for about $50,000/yr or $150,000 total. I would NOT do that if I planned to go into public interest anywhere, including UVA.

If you come out of a T30 and go straight into PI, then you can live comfortably on $50,000/yr and work your way up. That is plenty of money if you don't really have bills and your pay will get up towards $100,000 after 8-10 years. By that time, you will likely want to settle down and you'll be able to.

You will get to see your kids, make love to your wife or husband, and enjoy a decent amount of power in the local community while working an almost 9-5 job.

That sounds f*cking AMAZING to me!


Except that OP is interested in DOJ which is super competitive.

T10+IBR FTW.

That is an option, but what that "interest" changes, or if circumstances change, or if something tragic happens? Putting all your eggs in one basket is scary, especially if that basket costs $150,000. There is no way I'd do that if I had a choice not to.


It would seem to me that going to the T30 just to save money in the idea that all OP wants to do is PI, and relative to some of his other school choices PI might be the ONLY option, is just as much putting all of his eggs in one basket. Though it's a cheaper basket, in this case, you get what you pay for.

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Mattalones
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby Mattalones » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:20 am

DukeHopeful wrote:
Mattalones wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:
Mattalones wrote:I know this is not what people like to hear, but I think that, if you are going into public interest, the take all of the $$$$ you can get. You say that you have a full-ride at a T30 school. That is pretty strong, and you can probably still get a pretty high paying job from there is you change your mind in LS. I think T30 with a full-ride is the way to go!

1/4 tuition at UVA only covers about $11,000, which means you will still be held responsible for about $50,000/yr or $150,000 total. I would NOT do that if I planned to go into public interest anywhere, including UVA.

If you come out of a T30 and go straight into PI, then you can live comfortably on $50,000/yr and work your way up. That is plenty of money if you don't really have bills and your pay will get up towards $100,000 after 8-10 years. By that time, you will likely want to settle down and you'll be able to.

You will get to see your kids, make love to your wife or husband, and enjoy a decent amount of power in the local community while working an almost 9-5 job.

That sounds f*cking AMAZING to me!


Except that OP is interested in DOJ which is super competitive.

T10+IBR FTW.

That is an option, but what that "interest" changes, or if circumstances change, or if something tragic happens? Putting all your eggs in one basket is scary, especially if that basket costs $150,000. There is no way I'd do that if I had a choice not to.


It would seem to me that going to the T30 just to save money in the idea that all OP wants to do is PI, and relative to some of his other school choices PI might be the ONLY option, is just as much putting all of his eggs in one basket. Though it's a cheaper basket, in this case, you get what you pay for.

I see where you are coming from, but I just wouldn't make that decision (of course, we are different people and might have different opinions, which is fine). There are a lot of people who would (and who are) paying sticker for a T30 school. They do it because a high paying job is a realistic option. Given that, I just don't see where the OP could go as wrong with the T30 for free as with a $150,000 "oops." Both UVA and a T30 make high paying jobs an attainable reality (neither will be certain, but with UVA, will be more likely to land a market-paying-gig). For me the 15%-25% better NLJ 250 placement at UVA compared to a place like Fordham, BC, BU, or Notre Dame isn't worth the $150,000. Any of those schools will give you a good shot at a high paying job if you're above the median (we may be thinking of different T30 range schools, but I thought I would name the ones I thought of to clear up the ambiguity). These schools also have a big enough name to give him a fair shot at DOJ too. It won't be like he went to Florida Coastal or some of other TTTT; those degrees are respectable. At least for me, going to Fordham, BC, BU, or Notre Dame for free WAY beats spending $150,000 on UVA ... every day of the week.

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im_blue
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby im_blue » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:40 am

Mattalones wrote:I see where you are coming from, but I just wouldn't make that decision (of course, we are different people and might have different opinions, which is fine). There are a lot of people who would (and who are) paying sticker for a T30 school. They do it because a high paying job is a realistic option. Given that, I just don't see where the OP could go as wrong with the T30 for free as with a $150,000 "oops." Both UVA and a T30 make high paying jobs an attainable reality (neither will be certain, but with UVA, will be more likely to land a market-paying-gig). For me the 15%-25% better NLJ 250 placement at UVA compared to a place like Fordham, BC, BU, or Notre Dame isn't worth the $150,000. Any of those schools will give you a good shot at a high paying job if you're above the median (we may be thinking of different T30 range schools, but I thought I would name the ones I thought of to clear up the ambiguity). These schools also have a big enough name to give him a fair shot at DOJ too. It won't be like he went to Florida Coastal or some of other TTTT; those degrees are respectable. At least for me, going to Fordham, BC, BU, or Notre Dame for free WAY beats spending $150,000 on UVA ... every day of the week.

This may have been true up until 2-3 years ago, but non-T14's have really taken a disproportionate hit ITE. The difference may well be top 15-20% at the T30 vs top 50-60% at UVA, which means biglaw is about 3 times as likely from UVA.

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jmaan
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby jmaan » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:46 am

Reading this thread makes me happy I chose UVA coming from the west coast

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Mattalones
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby Mattalones » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:54 am

im_blue wrote:
Mattalones wrote:I see where you are coming from, but I just wouldn't make that decision (of course, we are different people and might have different opinions, which is fine). There are a lot of people who would (and who are) paying sticker for a T30 school. They do it because a high paying job is a realistic option. Given that, I just don't see where the OP could go as wrong with the T30 for free as with a $150,000 "oops." Both UVA and a T30 make high paying jobs an attainable reality (neither will be certain, but with UVA, will be more likely to land a market-paying-gig). For me the 15%-25% better NLJ 250 placement at UVA compared to a place like Fordham, BC, BU, or Notre Dame isn't worth the $150,000. Any of those schools will give you a good shot at a high paying job if you're above the median (we may be thinking of different T30 range schools, but I thought I would name the ones I thought of to clear up the ambiguity). These schools also have a big enough name to give him a fair shot at DOJ too. It won't be like he went to Florida Coastal or some of other TTTT; those degrees are respectable. At least for me, going to Fordham, BC, BU, or Notre Dame for free WAY beats spending $150,000 on UVA ... every day of the week.

This may have been true up until 2-3 years ago, but non-T14's have really taken a disproportionate hit ITE. The difference may well be top 15-20% at the T30 vs top 50-60% at UVA, which means biglaw is about 3 times as likely from UVA.

The T14 have taken the same hit. I have friends at HLS telling me about trouble getting biglaw right now. The difference is not a scale of 3 though. Even during time when the economy was good, UPenn had the highest NLJ250 placement with about 55%. Even great schools like Michigan only placed about 40% during those times. So, I feel like you #s are a exaggerated.

Anyway, the economy is likely going to be much different in three years from now. It might not be as good as it could be, but even now I don't hear many stories about it being the norm for T30 grads to make less per month than they own in loan payments; they'll come out fine for the most part. It's not as bleak as you make it seem to go to a T30 right now.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby Fark-o-vision » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:11 am

I don't want to guess, but if your free ride is to the UofA, take it. Hands down. No questions asked. If anyone tells you otherwise, they don't understand the power the UofA has in Arizona. This, of course, assumes you would be happy to be in Arizona. In Tucson, it reigns supreme. In Phoenix, I imagine it's great, but I don't know.

I've been accused of being an Irvine troll, too, but I would take Irvine for free over the colleges mentioned. None of the other Southwest schools strike me in that way, though.

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RVP11
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby RVP11 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:59 am

Fark-o-vision wrote:I don't want to guess, but if your free ride is to the UofA, take it. Hands down. No questions asked. If anyone tells you otherwise, they don't understand the power the UofA has in Arizona. This, of course, assumes you would be happy to be in Arizona. In Tucson, it reigns supreme. In Phoenix, I imagine it's great, but I don't know.


Super duper UofA trolling.

Straight from the mouth of a Phoenix big firm lawyer: "we only interview the top several students from ASU and UofA." Interview, not hire. Top several students, not percent.

IDK how you can say "the power the UofA has in Arizona" followed by an admission that you don't know how the school does in Phoenix. Phoenix is like 75% of Arizona's legal market, dude.

Fact is, if OP wants any kind of prestigious legal job in any American city, UVA/Duke/NU are the right choices. By a long shot, and even given the money from XYZ local state school. The type of work OP wants simply won't be available to 99% of people going to regional state schools.

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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby Fark-o-vision » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:19 am

I admit to not knowing Phoenix very well at all. Tucson, still not great. I am starting to notice, through various threads and topics on here, that the world of biglaw seems very detached from everything else. For instance, I'd never run into a lawyer who graduated from anywhere other than the UofA in Tucson who practiced. Now granted, my goings on there didn't bring me into contact with either:
A) Biglaw
B) government law

Just interesting to start putting together a picture of how things play out differently. Not doubting the validity of what you wrote.

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dontstopbelivin
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby dontstopbelivin » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:33 am

Fark-o-vision wrote:I admit to not knowing Phoenix very well at all. Tucson, still not great. I am starting to notice, through various threads and topics on here, that the world of biglaw seems very detached from everything else. For instance, I'd never run into a lawyer who graduated from anywhere other than the UofA in Tucson who practiced. Now granted, my goings on there didn't bring me into contact with either:
A) Biglaw
B) government law

Just interesting to start putting together a picture of how things play out differently. Not doubting the validity of what you wrote.


Fark,

1) you win the prize! good guess - U of A is my state school option.
2) I loved growing up in Arizona...but I'm fairly sure that's not where I want to end up in the long run. Did you really find people at U of A who left the state? My impression is that 85-95% stay in Arizona, which is great but probably not for me.

Thanks all for the advice - keep it coming!

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rayiner
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Re: T10($) vs. UCLA (sticker) vs. local state school ($$$$)

Postby rayiner » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:30 am

Mattalones wrote:
im_blue wrote:
Mattalones wrote:I see where you are coming from, but I just wouldn't make that decision (of course, we are different people and might have different opinions, which is fine). There are a lot of people who would (and who are) paying sticker for a T30 school. They do it because a high paying job is a realistic option. Given that, I just don't see where the OP could go as wrong with the T30 for free as with a $150,000 "oops." Both UVA and a T30 make high paying jobs an attainable reality (neither will be certain, but with UVA, will be more likely to land a market-paying-gig). For me the 15%-25% better NLJ 250 placement at UVA compared to a place like Fordham, BC, BU, or Notre Dame isn't worth the $150,000. Any of those schools will give you a good shot at a high paying job if you're above the median (we may be thinking of different T30 range schools, but I thought I would name the ones I thought of to clear up the ambiguity). These schools also have a big enough name to give him a fair shot at DOJ too. It won't be like he went to Florida Coastal or some of other TTTT; those degrees are respectable. At least for me, going to Fordham, BC, BU, or Notre Dame for free WAY beats spending $150,000 on UVA ... every day of the week.

This may have been true up until 2-3 years ago, but non-T14's have really taken a disproportionate hit ITE. The difference may well be top 15-20% at the T30 vs top 50-60% at UVA, which means biglaw is about 3 times as likely from UVA.

The T14 have taken the same hit. I have friends at HLS telling me about trouble getting biglaw right now. The difference is not a scale of 3 though. Even during time when the economy was good, UPenn had the highest NLJ250 placement with about 55%. Even great schools like Michigan only placed about 40% during those times. So, I feel like you #s are a exaggerated.

Anyway, the economy is likely going to be much different in three years from now. It might not be as good as it could be, but even now I don't hear many stories about it being the norm for T30 grads to make less per month than they own in loan payments; they'll come out fine for the most part. It's not as bleak as you make it seem to go to a T30 right now.


The T14 numbers are saturated. 90% of he class at M could've gotten an NLJ250 job ot of OCI prior to the bust. The T30s were in the 30-40% range even during the boom.




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