Berkeley v. Penn

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Dignan » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:10 am

fortissimo wrote:We're talking about grads right, not necessarily where people are from. Maybe they are West Coasters who decided to choose Columbia or Chicago, etc. ? I don't really know that many, tbh I don't know any, East Coasters who plan on migrating to the West Coast for the first time after law school. Regardless, their grades still probably have to be better for SF biglaw than NYC biglaw since it is a much tinier market. OP wants PI though...so whatever, but she does want PI on the East Coast.

Yeah, we've wandered away from the OP's question. I think that the geographic location of a school is more important for PI than for big law. If you want to do PI in Pennsylvania, don't go to Berkeley; if you want to do PI in Cali, don't go to Penn. On the other hand, the OP doesn't sound like she is exactly sure where she wants to end up ("likely to end up on the East Coast or the Midwest.") I think she should go to the school/city she feels most comfortable in.

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Rotor
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Rotor » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:29 am

emilybeth wrote:Yes, good point. I would look up the list of participating employers at each school's OCI last year. I don't have a list in front of me but I'd wager that the PI employers at Berkeley outnumber the Penn employers. While OCI certainly isn't the only (or best) way to get a PI job, it is a decent barometer for each school.

Last year's OCI won't be a good sample. Boalt Career development already has as
many confirmed employers for Fall 10 OCIP as all of last year. (Not sure the PI breakdown, but there are some confirmed). Check out 07/08. Clearly this Fall will be smaller than those banner years, but at least you'll get a sense of what types of places want Boalties-- but you may have to do the legwork rather than relying on OCIP.

Obviously I'm biased, and didn't even look into Penn, but you won't go wrong with Berk.

Wooster33
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Wooster33 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:35 am

Uh you'd still have to pay loans off (while collecting interest) during the 10 years........versus not having loans to pay off during the 10 years if you don't take on as much debt.


Um. IBR is based on income, so it doesn't matter if you have 100K in debt or 200K in debt, you pay the same for both. The 200K debt person just gets more debt (and any accrued interest) forgiven. That is why the other poster said there was no incentive to take less loan money if you plan on enrolling in the IBR public service thingy. And he/she is right.

Wooster33
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Wooster33 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:41 am

It's a risk to tie yourself to any region right now, but I don't think that Penn is any more "national" than Berkeley.


You are kidding, right? Penn is much more diverse in its placement of graduates. Now, maybe that is all choice, but it doesn't really matter--alumni are distributed heavily in a single state, so it's going to affect where your opportunities are.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:51 am

Rotor wrote:
emilybeth wrote:Yes, good point. I would look up the list of participating employers at each school's OCI last year. I don't have a list in front of me but I'd wager that the PI employers at Berkeley outnumber the Penn employers. While OCI certainly isn't the only (or best) way to get a PI job, it is a decent barometer for each school.

Last year's OCI won't be a good sample. Boalt Career development already has as
many confirmed employers for Fall 10 OCIP as all of last year. (Not sure the PI breakdown, but there are some confirmed). Check out 07/08. Clearly this Fall will be smaller than those banner years, but at least you'll get a sense of what types of places want Boalties-- but you may have to do the legwork rather than relying on OCIP.

Obviously I'm biased, and didn't even look into Penn, but you won't go wrong with Berk.


Even if there are PI employers at OCI, it's not like most PI people get their jobs through that method. A bunch don't even do OCI at all. OP exactly what type of public interest stuff are you interested in?

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Dignan » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:54 am

Wooster33 wrote:
It's a risk to tie yourself to any region right now, but I don't think that Penn is any more "national" than Berkeley.


You are kidding, right? Penn is much more diverse in its placement of graduates. Now, maybe that is all choice, but it doesn't really matter--alumni are distributed heavily in a single state, so it's going to affect where your opportunities are.

No, I'm serious. Penn places a disproportionate number of its graduates in Pennsylvania and New York. Outside of those markets, show me Penn's placement power relative to Berkeley. Penn is not Harvard. Penn is not Columbia. It's a good school that can place graduates outside of its main market (just like Berkeley can), but I don't think it is "much more diverse in its placement of graduates."

nooknak355
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby nooknak355 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:01 am

worldtraveler wrote:
Rotor wrote:
emilybeth wrote:Yes, good point. I would look up the list of participating employers at each school's OCI last year. I don't have a list in front of me but I'd wager that the PI employers at Berkeley outnumber the Penn employers. While OCI certainly isn't the only (or best) way to get a PI job, it is a decent barometer for each school.

Last year's OCI won't be a good sample. Boalt Career development already has as
many confirmed employers for Fall 10 OCIP as all of last year. (Not sure the PI breakdown, but there are some confirmed). Check out 07/08. Clearly this Fall will be smaller than those banner years, but at least you'll get a sense of what types of places want Boalties-- but you may have to do the legwork rather than relying on OCIP.

Obviously I'm biased, and didn't even look into Penn, but you won't go wrong with Berk.


Even if there are PI employers at OCI, it's not like most PI people get their jobs through that method. A bunch don't even do OCI at all. OP exactly what type of public interest stuff are you interested in?


I'm interested mainly in health care access and anti-poverty advocacy, both through Legal Aid/non-profit work but also government work either at the state level or DC.

fortissimo
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby fortissimo » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:08 am

Wooster33 wrote:
Uh you'd still have to pay loans off (while collecting interest) during the 10 years........versus not having loans to pay off during the 10 years if you don't take on as much debt.


Um. IBR is based on income, so it doesn't matter if you have 100K in debt or 200K in debt, you pay the same for both. The 200K debt person just gets more debt (and any accrued interest) forgiven. That is why the other poster said there was no incentive to take less loan money if you plan on enrolling in the IBR public service thingy. And he/she is right.


Um, aren't we talking about the OP's situation? She can pay over 100k or whatever already, which means she wouldn't even have to rely on IBR at all. (i.e. if she takes out just enough to qualify for LRAP but won't have to use IBR or it might be cheaper to just take out loans, depending on the amount, w/o using LRAP depending on your income level, since LRAPs are pro-rated to your income, etc.) Why the hell would you take out another 130k on loans when you don't have to in this situation?

Wooster33
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Wooster33 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:24 am

Um, aren't we talking about the OP's situation? She can pay over 100k or whatever already, which means she wouldn't even have to rely on IBR at all. (i.e. if she takes out just enough to qualify for LRAP but won't have to use IBR or it might be cheaper to just take out loans, depending on the amount, w/o using LRAP depending on your income level, since LRAPs are pro-rated to your income, etc.) Why the hell would you take out another 130k on loans when you don't have to in this situation?


I don't think she would be well served to pay $100k of her own money when she won't pay any where near that under the IBR scheme even over 10 years. Even if she made as much as 75K to start (with a 4% income growth rate) she would only pay $107K total. And I highly doubt she will make that much if she goes into public interest. If she starts at 55K (with 4% growth rate), the total payments would be $60k, for example.

fortissimo
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby fortissimo » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:31 am

Wooster33 wrote:
Um, aren't we talking about the OP's situation? She can pay over 100k or whatever already, which means she wouldn't even have to rely on IBR at all. (i.e. if she takes out just enough to qualify for LRAP but won't have to use IBR or it might be cheaper to just take out loans, depending on the amount, w/o using LRAP depending on your income level, since LRAPs are pro-rated to your income, etc.) Why the hell would you take out another 130k on loans when you don't have to in this situation?


I don't think she would be well served to pay $100k of her own money when she won't pay any where near that under the IBR scheme even over 10 years. Even if she made as much as 75K to start (with a 4% income growth rate) she would only pay $107K total. If she took your advice, she would be paying the full cost of attendance. And I highly doubt she will make that much if she goes into public interest. If she starts at 55K (with 4% growth rate), the total payments would be $60k, for example.


How are you taking into account different schools' LRAPs in this hypo? The IBR for example doesn't kick in until after you use Boalt's LRAP for 10 years in their LRAP-IBR program. I don't know what Penn's LRAP is like, but for certain situations it seems smarter to pay off the tuition upfront. (The interest rate right now on CDs right now is between 1 and 2%, so assuming that you invested the 100k in a CD with 1.5 interest rate, it would only bring about 16k of interest over a 10 year period. And to be honest, the more likely interest rate would be in the lower 1%, not bringing any benefit really in investing the money rather than paying upfront, assuming X amount of income anyway.)

Also, I believe IBR only wipes out your loans with government jobs, so if the OP goes into non-government PI, then her loans would not be forgiven. (You can correct me if I am wrong there. I really have no interest in PI/gov work so I haven't done too much research on this.)

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kalvano
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby kalvano » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:37 am

As someone who has been out of school for some time and faced real-life stuff like a mortgage and car payments, I can say with no equivocation at all that I would take the loans and keep my money in the bank. Once the money is spent, it's spent. But loans can be paid back so many different ways, from LRAP to IBR.

Nothing beats money in the bank. Nothing.

Wooster33
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Wooster33 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:38 am

How are you taking into account different schools' LRAPs in this hypo? The IBR for example doesn't kick in until after you use Boalt's LRAP for 10 years. I don't know what Penn's LRAP is like, but for certain situations it seems smarter to pay off the tuition upfront. (The interest rate right now on CDs right now is between 1 and 2%, so assuming that you invested the 100k in a CD with 1.5 interest rate, it would only bring about 16k of interest. And to be honest, the more likely interest rate would be in the lower 1%, not bringing any benefit really in investing the money rather than paying upfront, assuming X amount of income anyway.)


I am not considering the school's LRAP AT ALL. If she could qualify for Berkeley's LRAP assistance even with her cash, then she likely would not pay a single cent if her income remained below the 55 or 60K (below this amount Berkeley pays the entire IBR payment). My numbers were only for the government program, assuming she didn't qualify for additional school assistance because she had assets (I thought Berkeley's LRAP didn't have an asset test, but I don't remember).

Wooster33
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Wooster33 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:40 am

Also, I believe IBR only wipes out your loans with government jobs, so if the OP goes into non-government PI, then her loans would not be forgiven. (You can correct me if I am wrong there. I really have no interest in PI/gov work so I haven't done too much research on this.)


Wrong. It's not just government jobs. Legal aid qualifies, for example. At least when I checked on this information last year.

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Dignan » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:43 am

kalvano wrote:As someone who has been out of school for some time and faced real-life stuff like a mortgage and car payments, I can say with no equivocation at all that I would take the loans and keep my money in the bank. Once the money is spent, it's spent. But loans can be paid back so many different ways, from LRAP to IBR.

Nothing beats money in the bank. Nothing.

I've also been out of school for awhile and faced real-life stuff, but I do not agree. You can sell your house or your car; good luck selling your loans. Yes, LRAP and IBR offer an out, but only if you're willing to live very modestly for quite a long time. I think it makes sense to keep a small reserve of cash in the bank, but no more than that.

fortissimo
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby fortissimo » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:50 am

Wooster33 wrote:
How are you taking into account different schools' LRAPs in this hypo? The IBR for example doesn't kick in until after you use Boalt's LRAP for 10 years. I don't know what Penn's LRAP is like, but for certain situations it seems smarter to pay off the tuition upfront. (The interest rate right now on CDs right now is between 1 and 2%, so assuming that you invested the 100k in a CD with 1.5 interest rate, it would only bring about 16k of interest. And to be honest, the more likely interest rate would be in the lower 1%, not bringing any benefit really in investing the money rather than paying upfront, assuming X amount of income anyway.)


I am not considering the school's LRAP AT ALL. If she could qualify for Berkeley's LRAP assistance even with her cash, then she likely would not pay a single cent if her income remained below the 55 or 60K (below this amount Berkeley pays the entire IBR payment). My numbers were only for the government program, assuming she didn't qualify for additional school assistance because she had assets (I thought Berkeley's LRAP didn't have an asset test, but I don't remember).


I think it does have an asset test, as do most LRAPs. I think it also takes into account your spouse's income, etc. The asset test renders the notion of investing cash into CDs pretty pointless.

Wooster33 wrote:
Also, I believe IBR only wipes out your loans with government jobs, so if the OP goes into non-government PI, then her loans would not be forgiven. (You can correct me if I am wrong there. I really have no interest in PI/gov work so I haven't done too much research on this.)


Wrong. It's not just government jobs. Legal aid qualifies, for example. At least when I checked on this information last year.


Yeah, I guess teaching, gov work, and certain non-profit work qualify. Regardless, I wouldn't want to pay a portion of my income to loan repayment for 10 years AND be tied down by a particular job if I don't have to be.

Another thing is that IBR takes into account interest earned on investments (IBR takes into account AGI, not just salary income) and dividends earned from stock to see how much you pay along with your salary. Wouldn't IBR take into account your assets (aka cash in CD accounts), and not just the interest earned on investment accounts, when calculating how much you pay as well? Seems odd if it does not...I haven't read the fine print on it, but from what I have seen on the website I know it takes into account interest earned on investments and dividends (basically it would take into account any income earned via interest on your CD account), along with alimony payments, etc. If it takes this into account it would seem odd to take out more loans in order to avoid the "opportunity cost" of paying 100k in present value because IBR would essentially adjust the income to take into account your investments.

shephrdpie
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby shephrdpie » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:37 am

I figured I would weigh in as a supporter of UPenn here. I think the geographic consideration is obviously important, but I think there is a misconception that Penn lacks a strong focus on public interest curricula and job placement. I have not visited Berkeley and obviously some of this is relative, but I recently attended an open house at Penn and was impressed by their seeming commitment to the Public Interest. I know that this was an open house, and in many ways an advertisement for the school, so I take everything with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, they could have chosen to discuss the strength of Wharton or the big firm placement of the school, but instead dedicated a substantial amount of time to discussing careers in the public interest. Beyond that, the school's pro bono requirement, clinical programs, and externships around Philly are really strong (based mostly on the fact that Penn is the biggest name school in one of the largest cities in the country). Anyway, I thought I would through out a little support for Penn. It should probably be noted that I am trying to decide between NYU and Penn right now. Good luck!

Wooster33
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Wooster33 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:51 pm

Another thing is that IBR takes into account interest earned on investments (IBR takes into account AGI, not just salary income) and dividends earned from stock to see how much you pay along with your salary. Wouldn't IBR take into account your assets (aka cash in CD accounts), and not just the interest earned on investment accounts, when calculating how much you pay as well? Seems odd if it does not...I haven't read the fine print on it, but from what I have seen on the website I know it takes into account interest earned on investments and dividends (basically it would take into account any income earned via interest on your CD account), along with alimony payments, etc. If it takes this into account it would seem odd to take out more loans in order to avoid the "opportunity cost" of paying 100k in present value because IBR would essentially adjust the income to take into account your investments.


Right, it's based on income and not just wages. So what? I have NEVER seen anything about an asset test for government IBR. Is that ridiculous? I think so. I think the program encourages massive debt at the tax payers' expense.

Secondly, you are wrong that inclusion of investment/interest income should matter much. You would only have to pay a SMALL PORTION of your interest income, not all of it. Your advice is just really bad advice. It would probably cost the OP around 100K or more. Of course, if the OP is really iffy on whether she wants to stay in a qualifying job, then that changes the calculation. But if the OP really know she wants to work in a qualifying IBR career, then she shouldn't pay a single cent of her cash.




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