HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

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

What would you do?

Harvard Law School
133
43%
T-14 (just think of your favorite) with full Scholarship
173
57%
 
Total votes: 306

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dutchstriker
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby dutchstriker » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:26 am

HiLine wrote:Does 'full scholarship' mean 'full tuition scholarship'? If so, the opportunity cost for going to HLS is about $1350000, not $200,000 as some people assume. :wink:

Right, that's what I just said.

It's even less if one receives grant aid at HLS.

motiontodismiss
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby motiontodismiss » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:44 am

rayiner wrote:
motiontodismiss wrote:
LawandOrder wrote:
motiontodismiss wrote:...parents moan about the half a million I spent on school.

I don't think the edge that Harvard gives is worth $200k...


Hmm...


That's half a million if I include full fare for law school.


How'd you spend $300k on UG?


$180k for UG, the rest in private school.

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cranberry
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby cranberry » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:35 pm

LawandOrder wrote:The debt is transient, the prestige lasts a lifetime.



this will always be the right answer.

sam.emton
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby sam.emton » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:12 pm

I think people keep throwing up the numbers $200,000 and $250,000 because of interest on loans. Taking out debt only for the cost of tuition (approximately $140,000 including inflation for tuition prices each year), you have to repay over $65,000 in interest over the 10 years, making the total cost differential $over $200,000. To take out the full cost of attendance ($71,000 including living expenses in loans), it would be over $300,000 to pay it back over ten years, including between $95,000 and $100,000 in interest. According to the loan calculator, you have to make about $165,000/year in a one-person household to live comfortably and still make the $2600/month payments. Alternatively, taking out only COL at another school (non-NYC COL at least) leaves about $66,000 of payments over three years (including interest). That's a lot of money to be paying in interest - a difference of close to $100,000.

I will be attending HLS next year, but my parents will be paying for it. If I were in a different circumstance, I would have had a much more difficult decision. Last year, Wachtell only hired 2 HLS grads...a lot of the other very prestigious firms don't hire that many HLS grads (compared to class size). I feel sorry for all of the people who are betting close to $250,000 (the differential of loans + interest in HLS and another top school without paying tuition) that they will be working at a V10 firm. Because in this economy it only has about a 10% chance of success.

However, I do acknowledge that Harvard gives you a greater chance than anywhere else at these opportunities, and a much greater chance at prestigious clerkships, PI, and government jobs. However, you may not be able to afford to take a DOJ job right out of HLS with that amount of debt (you'd be making $70,000ish/year, making tover $60,000, the LIPP isn't as effective) , even if you could get such a job out of HLS and not as easily from another school.

Good luck in your decision - neither choice is wrong. I picked HLS for those extra opportunities, but I have a friend that turned HLS down for a Hamilton - it's all up to what you want from your law school education, your legal career, and your life (including financial concerns).

mcdad
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby mcdad » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:17 pm

Go Blue!

smashedpumpkins
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby smashedpumpkins » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:43 pm

There are lots of great reasons to go to HLS, and I'm grappling with a similar decision myself.

With that said, do not listen to anyone that tells you that Harvard's LIPP / IBR will "negate" the effect of debt - it simply will not.

The reason that HYS are not dovetailing their LRAPs with IBR is that IBR is not very flexible and can be punitive if you make career changes. Harvard's LIPP is great - and absolutely will allow you to take low paying jobs if you decide - but also look closely at what relying on LIPP means. The terms are such that it would be very difficult, for example, to live without roommates in many major metro regions (NYC/DC/LA/SF), or purchase a car if you need one. You will also save very little money well into your 30s, in a period where you will see all of your peers buying houses, becoming financially secure, and starting families. Do these things matter to you? Maybe, maybe not - but don't think that the debt will not impact your life.

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dutchstriker
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby dutchstriker » Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:54 pm

smashedpumpkins wrote:There are lots of great reasons to go to HLS, and I'm grappling with a similar decision myself.

With that said, do not listen to anyone that tells you that Harvard's LIPP / IBR will "negate" the effect of debt - it simply will not.

The reason that HYS are not dovetailing their LRAPs with IBR is that IBR is not very flexible and can be punitive if you make career changes. Harvard's LIPP is great - and absolutely will allow you to take low paying jobs if you decide - but also look closely at what relying on LIPP means. The terms are such that it would be very difficult, for example, to live without roommates in many major metro regions (NYC/DC/LA/SF), or purchase a car if you need one. You will also save very little money well into your 30s, in a period where you will see all of your peers buying houses, becoming financially secure, and starting families. Do these things matter to you? Maybe, maybe not - but don't think that the debt will not impact your life.

Seems like choosing to take low-paying work is what's really impacting one's ability to do those things. You will run into the same problems from Columbia or NYU or wherever if you're making around $60k or less. (The story is admittedly a bit different in the $80k-$100k range.)

Choosing to do public interest is a lifestyle choice. No one should go into it without that realization. But it's just as much a lifestyle choice coming from Harvard as it is from anywhere else.

I've done the calculations on these things, so if anyone wants to see them just send me a PM.

Edit: As for "negating debt", it truly does (financially speaking) if you make less than $42k. Of course, it doesn't negate it in the sense that you aren't free to take low-paying work that isn't LIPP eligible.

Double edit: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=114287

fwaam
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby fwaam » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:19 pm

I'm wrestling with a similar choice.... and I'd add that the thing to remember about LIPP is that it's paying back loans for people who literally cannot afford to pay them for themselves. So yes, if you have $150,000 in debt and are making $40,000 a year, LIPP will pay your loans and that's great. If you truly want a $40,000/year job and you've gotten into HLS, you should probably go. But if you look at Harvard's statistics, you'll notice that surprisingly few people (given the size of the school and apparent generosity of the program) are enrolled in LIPP--probably because they realize that a $40,000 salary, once you take out taxes, just doesn't go that far in the major U.S. cities. And because, if you're making $60,000 or more, LIPP might help you some, but not a lot--I suspect for a lot of people it's not worth filling out the paperwork for $100/month in aid. In the end, people seek out higher-paying jobs, or they get raises, and so LIPP is no longer doing them so much good.

And it only makes sense if you think about it economically. HLS wouldn't offer this program if they wound up paying back the educational debt of 50% of the class; they wouldn't be able to afford it and they'd be better off just giving people full scholarships and not having to pay back the interest. (Witness their suspension of the program where they pay for the 3L year of students committed to 5 years in the public interest, even while they keep LIPP.) They offer LIPP because it enables those few students who really do qualify and really do stay in it to take public service jobs, and because it looks great to prospective students. But make no mistake, the vast majority of HLS grads will pay back the vast majority of their own debt. If you're dead-set on working in human rights or being a public defender, great, but if you're just vaguely considering PI along with a variety of other options (as I am) think carefully about taking on that much debt. It will make a difference.

And if you're at the income level where LIPP will make a substantial contribution to paying back your debt, then think carefully about whether you're really willing to keep that standard of living for 10 years out of law school--especially since that's when most people start families, want to buy houses, and so on. LIPP allows you to save $10,000/year, which is not going to get you very far with houses, and is going to make even cars, vacations, etc., difficult.

Bankhead
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby Bankhead » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:24 pm

If this has already been said then it bares repeating:

Every HLS matriculate will have been in your shoes right now. Take your once in a lifetime opportunity and go to HLS.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:15 am

Bankhead wrote:If this has already been said then it bares repeating:

Every HLS matriculate will have been in your shoes right now. Take your once in a lifetime opportunity and go to HLS.

I mean, I don't have statistics for T-10 schools with full rides, but I know Michigan gives out, what, 17 Darrows? Assuming similar numbers of scholarships among non-HYS T-10 schools (and some of the T-10 don't offer full-ride scholarships, mind you), your statement that bares repeating is patently false.

fwaam
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby fwaam » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:39 am

FlightoftheEarls wrote:
Bankhead wrote:If this has already been said then it bares repeating:

Every HLS matriculate will have been in your shoes right now. Take your once in a lifetime opportunity and go to HLS.

I mean, I don't have statistics for T-10 schools with full rides, but I know Michigan gives out, what, 17 Darrows? Assuming similar numbers of scholarships among non-HYS T-10 schools (and some of the T-10 don't offer full-ride scholarships, mind you), your statement that bares repeating is patently false.


+1

I've met HLS students/grads who either got no more than half-scholarships at T14s, or only applied to HYS. There are certainly plenty of students who do turn down full rides, but others accept them--the flip side is that you'll find students at every T14 who turned down Harvard (about 1/3 of their accepted students choose not to matriculate each year, and they aren't all going to Yale).

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dutchstriker
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby dutchstriker » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:52 am

fwaam wrote:I'm wrestling with a similar choice.... and I'd add that the thing to remember about LIPP is that it's paying back loans for people who literally cannot afford to pay them for themselves. So yes, if you have $150,000 in debt and are making $40,000 a year, LIPP will pay your loans and that's great. If you truly want a $40,000/year job and you've gotten into HLS, you should probably go. But if you look at Harvard's statistics, you'll notice that surprisingly few people (given the size of the school and apparent generosity of the program) are enrolled in LIPP--probably because they realize that a $40,000 salary, once you take out taxes, just doesn't go that far in the major U.S. cities. And because, if you're making $60,000 or more, LIPP might help you some, but not a lot--I suspect for a lot of people it's not worth filling out the paperwork for $100/month in aid. In the end, people seek out higher-paying jobs, or they get raises, and so LIPP is no longer doing them so much good.

And it only makes sense if you think about it economically. HLS wouldn't offer this program if they wound up paying back the educational debt of 50% of the class; they wouldn't be able to afford it and they'd be better off just giving people full scholarships and not having to pay back the interest. (Witness their suspension of the program where they pay for the 3L year of students committed to 5 years in the public interest, even while they keep LIPP.) They offer LIPP because it enables those few students who really do qualify and really do stay in it to take public service jobs, and because it looks great to prospective students. But make no mistake, the vast majority of HLS grads will pay back the vast majority of their own debt. If you're dead-set on working in human rights or being a public defender, great, but if you're just vaguely considering PI along with a variety of other options (as I am) think carefully about taking on that much debt. It will make a difference.

And if you're at the income level where LIPP will make a substantial contribution to paying back your debt, then think carefully about whether you're really willing to keep that standard of living for 10 years out of law school--especially since that's when most people start families, want to buy houses, and so on. LIPP allows you to save $10,000/year, which is not going to get you very far with houses, and is going to make even cars, vacations, etc., difficult.

If you have a $70,000 salary and are ~$150,000 in debt, you will get LIPP benefits of over $500 per month. Retirement accounts are exempt from the $10,000 you're allowed to save each year. I've spoken to one LIPP participant who pays his loans himself and then deposits his LIPP checks into his retirement account.

That said, I agree with your broader sentiment -- that you have to think hard about whether you want to live on such a low salary. For example, the guy I just referenced lives in San Francisco working for a nonprofit, but he lives with roommates, isn't married, doesn't have kids, etc. He loves his job and his life, but I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't.

LIPP doesn't turn a $40,000 salary into a $60,000 one. It prevents a $40,000 salary from turning into an $8,0000 one. It's still $40,000, and that's not a lot of money for a lot of people (especially when your classmates are making four times that).

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creamedcats
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby creamedcats » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:55 am

Harvard.

fwaam
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby fwaam » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:59 pm

dutchstriker wrote:If you have a $70,000 salary and are ~$150,000 in debt, you will get LIPP benefits of over $500 per month. Retirement accounts are exempt from the $10,000 you're allowed to save each year. I've spoken to one LIPP participant who pays his loans himself and then deposits his LIPP checks into his retirement account.


Sure, but if you're ~$150,000 in debt, you're looking at montly payments of about $1500 for ten years after graduation.

I think we're basically in agreement though. LIPP will stop your debt from literally forcing you into a biglaw job instead of something low-paying that you really want to do. And that's great. But LIPP won't stop your debt from being a burden. Only a tiny minority of people will remain in $40,000/year jobs over 10 years post-graduation, and everybody else is going to be paying. So LIPP is great for some people, but I wouldn't advise somebody to make the decision to take on $150,000 in debt lightly just because LIPP exists.

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dutchstriker
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby dutchstriker » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:06 pm

fwaam wrote:
dutchstriker wrote:If you have a $70,000 salary and are ~$150,000 in debt, you will get LIPP benefits of over $500 per month. Retirement accounts are exempt from the $10,000 you're allowed to save each year. I've spoken to one LIPP participant who pays his loans himself and then deposits his LIPP checks into his retirement account.


Sure, but if you're ~$150,000 in debt, you're looking at montly payments of about $1500 for ten years after graduation.

Right, I was just refuting the idea that anyone making over $60k isn't going to bother to enroll in LIPP because the benefits wouldn't be substantial enough. I would move that bar closer to $80k-$85k, given ~$150k in debt.

But yes, we're mostly in agreement. I'm leaning towards HLS over the Hamilton because I don't have a desire for a traditional American middle-class life (house, car, kids, nice things I don't need). But it's still an agonizing decision for me.

smashedpumpkins
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby smashedpumpkins » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:14 pm

I think this has been posted before, but it's worth reading:
--LinkRemoved--

Just a reminder that HLS is not the silver bullet that will make your life awesome.

Like Dutchstriker, I am still considering full sticker over the Hamilton, but I am fully aware that there are sacrifices on both sides of the decision.

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Chichaca
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby Chichaca » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:26 pm

smashedpumpkins wrote:I think this has been posted before, but it's worth reading:
--LinkRemoved--

Seems like that article is more about how miserable people are in big law.

smashedpumpkins
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby smashedpumpkins » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:27 pm

Chichaca wrote:
smashedpumpkins wrote:I think this has been posted before, but it's worth reading:
--LinkRemoved--

Seems like that article is more about how miserable people are in big law.



Correct, but I'm not sure biglaw would be as desired as it is if people did not have debt.

Now
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby Now » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:01 am

smashedpumpkins wrote:
Chichaca wrote:
smashedpumpkins wrote:I think this has been posted before, but it's worth reading:
--LinkRemoved--

Seems like that article is more about how miserable people are in big law.



Correct, but I'm not sure biglaw would be as desired as it is if people did not have debt.


if people did not have debt, what would the great lawyers of harvard do?

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northwood
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby northwood » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:08 am

OP: where are you now? ( what school did you choose?)

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fatduck
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby fatduck » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:37 am

smashedpumpkins wrote:
Chichaca wrote:
smashedpumpkins wrote:I think this has been posted before, but it's worth reading:
--LinkRemoved--

Seems like that article is more about how miserable people are in big law.


Correct, but I'm not sure biglaw would be as desired as it is if people did not have debt.

the article hails Greg Giraldo as a success story, giving Skadden the finger and following his dream of being a comedian

:cry: :cry: :cry:

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smaug_
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby smaug_ » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:54 am

Now wrote:
smashedpumpkins wrote:
Chichaca wrote:
smashedpumpkins wrote:I think this has been posted before, but it's worth reading:
--LinkRemoved--

Seems like that article is more about how miserable people are in big law.



Correct, but I'm not sure biglaw would be as desired as it is if people did not have debt.


if people did not have debt, what would the great lawyers of harvard do?


That was a powerful necro.




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