help me decide

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agentmichaelscarn
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help me decide

Postby agentmichaelscarn » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:45 pm

edit
Last edited by agentmichaelscarn on Tue May 11, 2010 12:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

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najumobi
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby najumobi » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:54 pm

agentmichaelscarn wrote:down to deciding between stanford, harvard, and ucla, although i've pretty much narrowed it down to stanford and ucla based on geography.

i know many of you will scoff and say i'd be crazy to turn my top 3 offers down, but i am seriously having overwhelming difficulty with this decision. i'd be paying full tuition at stanford (i'd likely pick this over harvard), and i have close to a full-ride at ucla. i know stanford (and harvard) are significantly better schools, but in this uncertain economy, being able to graduate without a penny of debt is supremely tempting. anyone struggling with this kind of decision? any advice? i'm desperate with a week to decide.

also, there's no mid-range option. it's t20 or t3.
will you not be taking out any loans for COL?

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jks289
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby jks289 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:00 pm

I am assuming you just want someone to confirm Stanford is worth the debt. It is. If you want BigLaw, vastly worth the debt. If you want prestige government work (DOJ, SEC, etc) it is also worth it. There isn't a scenario in which you aren't better off in three years with a Stanford degree. Debt is scary and you are smart to be thoughtful, but don't be so afraid of the debt you miss out on opportunities that will exist coming out of a top 3 school.

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im_blue
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby im_blue » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:01 pm

People routinely turn down full rides at Columbia and Michigan for HLS. Since you've already eliminated HLS, the obvious answer is Stanford.

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Steven Perry
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby Steven Perry » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:03 pm

If you really want to stay on the West Coast then choosing UCLA may not be a bad choice. Your degree won't hold the same weight as Stanford's, but a UCLA education is nothing to scoff at out West either. I use to be all about prestige and rank, but as of late I've been leaning towards minimal debt. You cannot guarantee how well you'll do in law school, so you won't be under that immediate pressure to get the perfect job upon graduation. You'll have more freedom to do what you want as opposed to just paying tuition loans.

Harvard seems like it should probably be out of your choice unless you want East Coast work. I'm assuming you're from the west coast; how much money will you be saving on COL going to Stanford or UCLA?

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autarkh
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby autarkh » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:06 pm

Go to Stanford.

It will be expensive, but you'll have every opportunity you could want -- and the benefit of their awesome grading system.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby Fark-o-vision » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:08 pm

From what I understand UCLA competes on pretty even feet with anyone in Los Angeles. This should be modified by a couple pieces of important information. (1) No experience myself (0L). (2) The people I know in the field all work in LA, but are years out of law school and none of them went the biglaw route. Their information may not be good anymore.

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jakeoooh
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby jakeoooh » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:10 pm

Definitely Stanford. Debt sucks, it's scary, etc etc but for Cali you simply cannot do any better than Stanford. If you do big law then the loans aren't going to drown you, and if you want to do PI you can take advantage of LRAP. Congrats on the great cycle!

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rayiner
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby rayiner » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:11 pm

Stanford.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:59 pm

Stanford.

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OneKnight
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby OneKnight » Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:01 pm

S to the T to the A to the N to...OK, you get the point.

agentmichaelscarn
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Re: help me decide

Postby agentmichaelscarn » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:15 pm

edit
Last edited by agentmichaelscarn on Tue May 11, 2010 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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98234872348
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby 98234872348 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:18 pm

rayiner wrote:Stanford.

Unless you are batshit insane.

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DerrickRose
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby DerrickRose » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:19 pm

What exactly is the scholarship from UCLA. And either way, ask them for more.

You aren't crazy for leaning towards UCLA.

Flanker1067
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby Flanker1067 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:27 pm

mistergoft wrote:
rayiner wrote:Stanford.

Unless you are batshit insane.



This. Really though there is nothing wrong with going to UCLA for free. You should read this again though ^^^^

Mr. Pablo
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby Mr. Pablo » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:34 pm

Are you only considering UCLA because of the money, and the debt delaying a down payment on a house? 200k is a lot of money to pay off, for sure, but I would be willing to bet that there is a higher percentage of SLS grads who have jobs that they really want than UCLA grads. A down payment on your house is something that you can save up for eventually, but it seems like when you are about to set a trajectory for a lifelong type of career, you might look to aim as high as possible. 5-7 years really isn't a whole lot of time, and you could even save up to buy a small condo as a transitional residence while paying off your loans. Don't shortchange your future over an amount of money that will pale in comparison to not just your potential future earnings, but also to your overall career potential that a degree from a school life Stanford can offer.

Hey-O
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby Hey-O » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:35 pm

I think that UCLA is a good option if you're really debt adverse. If $$$$ and Big Law are not what you want then Stanford at sticker might not be what you want. If you want a small boutique practice then UCLA with little debt is a great option. If you want to be a big shot then Stanford. This is a tough choice because you really have to access your life goals and think about the realistically. How ambitious are you?

lakerfanimal
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby lakerfanimal » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:52 pm

I was too lazy to read all of the above comments. But you'll be happier in every way except financially at Stanford. I actually visited it and I feel like there's no school worth turning down for it (maybe Yale because better employment prospects) and that's not weighing prestige much into account because Harvard's more prestigious anyways. If you're so debt averse that not taking the full ride will haunt you for 3 years, then go to UCLA, but if not go to Stanford and have a blast.

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existenz
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby existenz » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:19 pm

It sounds to me like your legal goals aren't very well formed, otherwise you'd have made a decision by now. If you want biglaw, Stanford. If you want PI, I'm sure Stanford's LRAP is fairly generous.

But if you just aren't sure how much you are going to love working in law, go to UCLA with the full ride. You are probably smart enough to be in the top 10% of your class and get a great biglaw job if you want it. But if you decide on a different route, you will have minimal debt and maximum flexibility.

I wish I had your dilemma.

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FuManChusco
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby FuManChusco » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:41 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:Stanford.


+1

ogurty
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby ogurty » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:45 pm

This might be a moot point, but two of my friends from UCLA undergrad went to HLS; one graduated in 2009 and one in 2010; both have Los Angeles area Biglaw jobs. So I don't think Harvard precludes staying in California.

That said, Stanford is a pipe dream for most and if you see law as a long-term career choice, you should take your t3 options.

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doinmybest
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Re: help me decide: stanford (or harvard), or ucla ($$$)

Postby doinmybest » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:53 pm

Take the $$$ at UCLA no debt/less debt is better ITE, especially if you just want to stay in Cali. Easy choice here.


It should be noted that I'm on the waitlist at Standford.




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