Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

What is more financially feasable ITE?

Georgetown at sticker
12
14%
GW for almost free
33
40%
Keep $90K+ a year day job
38
46%
 
Total votes: 83

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ihurtmyselftoday
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Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:04 pm

So I've searched the forums and realize that this question seems to come up several times a cycle...but I haven't seen on this cycle yet so here it is.

My options are basically what's listed in the poll question.

-No financial aid offer from G-Town and probably won't get much from FAFSA with an EFC of over 20000.
-GWU is offering $105K plus housing for the first year.
-And my other option which I'm not crazy about is to hold off law school until the economy improves and keep my day job. But at 26, I don't know if I want to wait too much longer to get started on the career I think I was meant to do.

My career goal after LS is eventually to do work in transitional societies on behalf of the DOJ. I plan to do that by securing either an entry level position in the DOJ (very difficult), or by starting off in BigLaw.

How realistic are my prospects for either market from these two schools?

Does the recent NLJ Go-To Schools list make a difference here? The list places GULC at #13 w/ 42.8% of classed placed in BigLaw. GWU is at 31.6%. Is that 11% really worth 200K in debt (I'll enter law school with $0 debt FYI).
http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/law%20sc ... page12.pdf

Also, what about strength of programs? The USNWR specialty rankings place GULC in the top 10 in almost every category (the relevant ones being International Law, Clinical, and Trial Advocay). Are these rankings really significant?

Hopefully some of those who have had to make this difficult choice in the past can way in, but I'd definitely appreciate any sound advice from the TLS regulars. Thanks in advance.

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ihurtmyselftoday
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:07 pm

I forgot to mention that I am still awaiting an answer from Columbia, UPenn, and NU. For many reasons I'd likely take either of the first two regardless of cost. I'd probably be in the same position with NU vs. GW if that pans out.

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Bosque
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby Bosque » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:01 pm

ihurtmyselftoday wrote:My career goal after LS is eventually to do work in transitional societies on behalf of the DOJ. I plan to do that by securing either an entry level position in the DOJ (very difficult), or by starting off in BigLaw.


Does anyone know what the heck that is, and why the Department of Justice would be involved? It sounds like it comes from the land of international and space law.

Not to say that it doesn't exist. You could be going about this in a very reasoned, researched way. I cannot know. But it sounds like something a 0L would make up to sound good, so I am curious as to what it is.

nycparalegal
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby nycparalegal » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:09 pm

Well, it sounds like he wants a job that helps societies that experienced civil war or authoritarian governments "transition" into a more just and legal society. You can do this by prosecuting war criminals and establishing an independent and corruption-free police and judiciary.

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Bosque
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby Bosque » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:15 pm

nycparalegal wrote:Well, it sounds like he wants a job that helps societies that experienced civil war or authoritarian governments "transition" into a more just and legal society. You can do this by prosecuting war criminals and establishing an independent and corruption-free police and judiciary.


Then my question remains. What does the DoJ have to do with this? If he wanted to practice in international criminal law (which one could argue doesn't really exists, but we won't get into that), it seems he would want to get involved with the UN, not the DoJ.

nycparalegal
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby nycparalegal » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:19 pm

Bosque wrote:
nycparalegal wrote:Well, it sounds like he wants a job that helps societies that experienced civil war or authoritarian governments "transition" into a more just and legal society. You can do this by prosecuting war criminals and establishing an independent and corruption-free police and judiciary.


Then my question remains. What does the DoJ have to do with this? If he wanted to practice in international criminal law (which one could argue doesn't really exists, but we won't get into that), it seems he would want to get involved with the UN, not the DoJ.


Hmm okay maybe he means this:

Transitional Housing Grant Program at the DOJ

td6624
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby td6624 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:23 pm

As an aside, these poll results make me feel less stupid for not applying to Georgetown.

Whew.

jk11287
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby jk11287 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:26 pm

If your ultimate goal is to get a DOJ job, I think you'd have to be crazy not to accept a full ride from GW. Unless you're independently wealthy (I mean, you might be, but still), full tuition at GULC+not really wanting to pursue biglaw sounds kind of risky. You sound like you have a very clear idea of what you want to do, and gonig to law school for free would ensure that you could hold out for that particular job after graduation instead of rushing into something just to pay off your loans.

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gwuorbust
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby gwuorbust » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:20 pm

I voted GULC b/c from what I've heard that a large portion of the ppl go into LS w the idea that they want to do PI and eventually turn to BigLaw. GULC would leave that option open to you while at GWU you would have to fight harder for it.

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ihurtmyselftoday
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:35 pm

nycparalegal wrote:
Bosque wrote:
nycparalegal wrote:Well, it sounds like he wants a job that helps societies that experienced civil war or authoritarian governments "transition" into a more just and legal society. You can do this by prosecuting war criminals and establishing an independent and corruption-free police and judiciary.


Then my question remains. What does the DoJ have to do with this? If he wanted to practice in international criminal law (which one could argue doesn't really exists, but we won't get into that), it seems he would want to get involved with the UN, not the DoJ.


Hmm okay maybe he means this:

Transitional Housing Grant Program at the DOJ


Okay, I guess I should point out that the DOJ Criminal Division maintains a pretty active role (primary role according to Lanny Bruer, Assitant Attorney General for the Criminal Division) in establishing Rule of Law in transitional societies, basically States that meet nycparalegal's definition above. Think Iraq, Afghanistan, (maybe someday Somalia and North Korea). The DOJs Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training does just the kind of work I plan on doing. Definitely not international law "space" stuff.

But another thing I've considered in choosing where I want to go to school is my two walk aways:

1. I don't want to make less than $80K a year, or less than $120K if I have a ton of debt.
2. I don't want to be restricted to DC (as specific as my career goals are, I have no idea if I'll want to stay in the capital or move back to sunny California after law school).

Is GW considered completely regional?

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jks289
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby jks289 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:45 pm

ihurtmyselftoday wrote:
nycparalegal wrote:
Bosque wrote:
nycparalegal wrote:Well, it sounds like he wants a job that helps societies that experienced civil war or authoritarian governments "transition" into a more just and legal society. You can do this by prosecuting war criminals and establishing an independent and corruption-free police and judiciary.


Then my question remains. What does the DoJ have to do with this? If he wanted to practice in international criminal law (which one could argue doesn't really exists, but we won't get into that), it seems he would want to get involved with the UN, not the DoJ.


Hmm okay maybe he means this:

Transitional Housing Grant Program at the DOJ


Okay, I guess I should point out that the DOJ Criminal Division maintains a pretty active role (primary role according to Lanny Bruer, Assitant Attorney General for the Criminal Division) in establishing Rule of Law in transitional societies, basically States that meet nycparalegal's definition above. Think Iraq, Afghanistan, (maybe someday Somalia and North Korea). The DOJs Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training does just the kind of work I plan on doing. Definitely not international law "space" stuff.

But another thing I've considered in choosing where I want to go to school is my two walk aways:

1. I don't want to make less than $80K a year, or less than $120K if I have a ton of debt.
2. I don't want to be restricted to DC (as specific as my career goals are, I have no idea if I'll want to stay in the capital or move back to sunny California after law school).

Is GW considered completely regional?


I have pretty close ties to people who are in these programs (specifically Iraq, PM me for anything specific). These are very, very difficult to get and are highly political. I even venture to say the law school you went to is entirely irrelevant, as it is a "who you know" game and won't come until years into your DOJ career. If you really plan to pursue this course you need to start pursuing connections. That said, I'd take the GW offer.

Kong456
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby Kong456 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:53 pm

Keep the job. Opportunity costs are ridiculous and the majority of law school grads are settling for a lot less than what you have already (financially speaking). Your DOJ goal seems very interesting but the probability of getting in is miniscule.

jk11287
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby jk11287 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:56 pm

Your salary requirements seem a little high for me, especially if you're interested in a federal job rather than biglaw. Your ultimate job goal and your salary don't really seem compatible at all; even though you'll have a law degree, federal jobs are paid according to a very strict (and, as I understand it) fairly non-negotiable scale. I don't know anything about the specific job you're looking for, but if everyone else is right, it seems like you'd be lucky to get that job...I don't think you'd be ablet od emand very much money for it.

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ihurtmyselftoday
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:05 pm

Kong456 wrote:Keep the job. Opportunity costs are ridiculous and the majority of law school grads are settling for a lot less than what you have already (financially speaking). Your DOJ goal seems very interesting but the probability of getting in is miniscule.


jks289 wrote:I have pretty close ties to people who are in these programs (specifically Iraq, PM me for anything specific). These are very, very difficult to get and are highly political. I even venture to say the law school you went to is entirely irrelevant, as it is a "who you know" game and won't come until years into your DOJ career. If you really plan to pursue this course you need to start pursuing connections. That said, I'd take the GW offer.


Thank's both of you for your input. While obviously difficult, I do have a possible leg up on the competition. I'm eligible for preferential hiring as a veteran. Regardless, I know how competitive DOJ opportunities are. If I don't get my foot in the door, I'd like the option of BigLaw.

Is a 10% difference in BigLaw placement significant? Or does that number adequately represent the difference in opportunities coming out of GWU vs GULC.

BTW, I'm suprised how many votes are for keeping my day job. I wonder if it would be the same iresponse if the choice was say UPenn at sticker vs Day Job. Which is still a possibility.

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ihurtmyselftoday
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:18 pm

jk11287 wrote:Your salary requirements seem a little high for me, especially if you're interested in a federal job rather than biglaw. Your ultimate job goal and your salary don't really seem compatible at all; even though you'll have a law degree, federal jobs are paid according to a very strict (and, as I understand it) fairly non-negotiable scale. I don't know anything about the specific job you're looking for, but if everyone else is right, it seems like you'd be lucky to get that job...I don't think you'd be ablet od emand very much money for it.


You make a good point. The salary can improve pretty rapidly though. An entry level attorney in the DOJ would make about $70K in DC but could hit $120K+ in as little as 3.5 years. But that would admittedly be someone who wakes up in the morning and pisses excellence.

Torvon
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby Torvon » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:25 pm

I'm one of the few that voted Georgetown and I did so for a few reasons. First, if you are interested in working for the Federal Government you qualify for GULCs LRAP which means if you make $75,000 or less you pay nothing on your loans and after 10 years they are forgiven. Second, if you change your mind and decide you want BigLaw than GULC places much better, so it leaves your options much more open. Third, no matter what you decide to do GULC is always going to look better than GW, for PI work, for government, for region and on the national level. Yes you would be taking out a lot of loans to pay for school, but in the end it really isn't too risky of a move with their LRAP.

Renzo
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby Renzo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:40 pm

ihurtmyselftoday wrote:Okay, I guess I should point out that the DOJ Criminal Division maintains a pretty active role (primary role according to Lanny Bruer, Assitant Attorney General for the Criminal Division) in establishing Rule of Law in transitional societies, basically States that meet nycparalegal's definition above. Think Iraq, Afghanistan, (maybe someday Somalia and North Korea). The DOJs Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training does just the kind of work I plan on doing. Definitely not international law "space" stuff.

But another thing I've considered in choosing where I want to go to school is my two walk aways:

1. I don't want to make less than $80K a year, or less than $120K if I have a ton of debt.
2. I don't want to be restricted to DC (as specific as my career goals are, I have no idea if I'll want to stay in the capital or move back to sunny California after law school).

It was this precise moment where my head exploded.

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zapper
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby zapper » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:09 pm

I am (potentially) in a similar situation. IF I get into a T14 school I'll have to pay sticker. I have the option of a nearly full ride at a T50 school in the same region. I have a day job which pays less than yours but still very decent with definite upward trend going forward in the industry. I will be almost 30 by the time I graduate from law school, if I go this fall. Finally, I also want to get into a very competitive field (legal academia) but I am not averse to Big Law (or PI for that matter) as other options.

I don't know what to do and I don't have to decide yet. I think all of the above advice is worth considering. I would only add that I think an important question to ask is whether you want your life-long career to be in the field in which you're currently working. Sometimes I think I'd rather pursue my dream career with debt than continue ambivalently without debt. (Other times I feel the opposite.) Unless you are independently wealthy, win the lottery, are Warren Buffet/Steve Jobs, you are going to have to work for a living until retirement, i.e. the next 30-40 years, so the debt isn't going to make or break you in that sense.

Just my $0.02...

irishman86
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby irishman86 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:29 pm

Don't quit your day job. At least wait a few years for the economy to ride out. And by few, I mean 5-10+ years.

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ihurtmyselftoday
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Re: Georgetown vs. GW$$$ vs. Don't quit day job

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:58 pm

irishman86 wrote:Don't quit your day job. At least wait a few years for the economy to ride out. And by few, I mean 5-10+ years.


I see that there are a lot of votes for keeping my day job. For those who voted that way, how is keeping a job that I'm not crazy about better than going to a T30 school for negligble debt?

Doesn't the fact that the eductation at GWU involve minimal risk make it at least worth the shot?


On another note, no G-Town love ITT. Yeesh!




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