Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

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miamiman
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Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby miamiman » Wed May 05, 2010 8:56 pm

So during this past cycle there were two prevailing lines of reasoning, neither of which was credited to the exclusion of the other.

1. Some suggested the best course of action was minimizing debt at the lower T1 or T2.

2. Others, I might argue the TLS majority, argued it was better to maximize your odds at biglaw/prestigious govt/clerkships at the higher ranked school, be it T14, T20, T1 or T2.

Which alternative, if applicable, did you choose and why?
Last edited by miamiman on Wed May 05, 2010 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JollyGreenGiant
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Re: ?Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby JollyGreenGiant » Wed May 05, 2010 8:58 pm

miamiman wrote:So during this past cycle there were two prevailing lines of reasoning, neither of which was credited to the exclusion of the other.

1. Some suggested the best course of action was minimizing debt at the lower T1 or T2.

2. Others, I might argue the TLS majority, argued it was better to maximize your odds at biglaw/prestigious govt/clerkships at the higher ranked school, be it T14, T20, T1 or T2.

Which alternative, if applicable, did you choose and why?

Chose the best school w/ a decent scholly over a local regional school with a near full scholly. Every now and again I regret it, but I know I likely won't in 3 years.

Nat1018
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby Nat1018 » Wed May 05, 2010 9:07 pm

I chose to minimize debt at a T2. You don't know what the economy's going to be like in 3 years and going to a T14 or whatever "higher ranked" law school is not a gaurantee that you'll land a job afterwards. It may increase the chances of getting a job, but by no means is any 6 figure job gauranteed. Then you're stuck with a ton of debt afterwards. That scenario led me to choose money over rank.

lawschoolftw
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby lawschoolftw » Wed May 05, 2010 9:24 pm

I went somewhere in the middle. Took a pretty big scholarship at a T20, but decided not to pursue the WL at a T14, or take a full ride at a T2.

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thickfreakness
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby thickfreakness » Wed May 05, 2010 9:27 pm

Took a nice offer at a T14 over a full tide (with GPA stipulations, mind you) at a first tier local school. It's exciting but a bit nerve-wracking at the same time, as one year's tuiton at the T14 costs almost as much as all three years in-state at the local place, but I think I made the right choice.

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Dr. Strangelove
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Wed May 05, 2010 9:31 pm

This question is hard to answer. It depends on the person.
What do you want to do after law school?
If you don't know the answer to this question- go to the best school you get into.
If you don't mind living in East Bumfuck, Kentucky (or wherever) for the rest of your life and you can go to East Bumfuck School of Law for free... then it might be a good decision.

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DerrickRose
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby DerrickRose » Wed May 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Sometimes the thing to do is to understand the cost/value relationships of your offers and see if anything jumps out. Its not a given that your offers will always be better school=less money.

In my case I applied to 22 schools and the second highest ranked one I got into offered me the second lowest overall COA, with no scholarship stipulations. No-brainer.

scionb4
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby scionb4 » Wed May 05, 2010 9:44 pm

It's easier to pay off debt with a good job you got fairly easily out of a high ranked law school than to to fight tooth and nail with your lower ranked law school classmates just to get an interview for that very same job.

weis14
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby weis14 » Wed May 05, 2010 9:50 pm

I got lucky. The highest ranked school (T30) that I got into also gave me the most money. It made the decision easy.

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beesknees
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby beesknees » Wed May 05, 2010 10:02 pm

I took the best school to give me a sizable scholarship. That meant I turned down a T10 at sticker and a free in-state T50 for a T20.

When I compared NLJ250 firm placement and Article III clerkship data for 2009, I couldn't justify the insane amount of debt for a small percentage improvement in prospects for the T10 (read 4-5% better in those categories).

It flies in the face of standard TLS mentality (to go balls to the walls either in debt or in necessity to be top of the class), but I think I made the best decision for my career goals with the limited information available.

fwaam
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby fwaam » Wed May 05, 2010 10:12 pm

I'm in between. Turned down a full ride at a T2, also turned down the highest-ranking school I got into at sticker. As a result, I'm going to a lower T14 with a nice (but not all-expenses-paid) scholarship.

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sixburgher
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby sixburgher » Wed May 05, 2010 10:15 pm

I took the highest scholarship offer I received, which was from the 2nd highest rank school I was accepted by (T30). The difference was roughly 50k for 2 rankings places, with very similar job prospects. It was the obvious choice.

Now, I don't know what will happen if I get in off the WL at my top choice, but for now I'm very happy with my decision.

forty-two
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby forty-two » Wed May 05, 2010 10:32 pm

I'm also in between. I turned down some full rides and two higher ranked schools at sticker for a half scholarship at a T25.

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TCScrutinizer
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby TCScrutinizer » Wed May 05, 2010 10:35 pm

weis14 wrote:I got lucky. The highest ranked school (T30) that I got into also gave me the most money. It made the decision easy.


Same. Illinois straight up blew everyone else out of the water.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby Stringer Bell » Wed May 05, 2010 10:47 pm

beesknees wrote:I took the best school to give me a sizable scholarship. That meant I turned down a T10 at sticker and a free in-state T50 for a T20.

When I compared NLJ250 firm placement and Article III clerkship data for 2009, I couldn't justify the insane amount of debt for a small percentage improvement in prospects for the T10 (read 4-5% better in those categories).

It flies in the face of standard TLS mentality (to go balls to the walls either in debt or in necessity to be top of the class), but I think I made the best decision for my career goals with the limited information available.


I think I've seen before that you are going to Vandy right? T10 sticker over T17 with $$ isn't necessarily the prevailing wisdom here. The prevailing thought is T12 sticker over half tuition from the WUSTL, ND, UIUC, BU, BC, GW, UMINN group.

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dvd
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby dvd » Wed May 05, 2010 10:50 pm

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Last edited by dvd on Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Minimize Debt or Maximize Odds?

Postby Stringer Bell » Wed May 05, 2010 10:58 pm

I chose to ED at UVA and pay sticker. I'm a mega-splitter, so it's not like tons of T1 schools were going to give me full tuition anyways. I was deciding whether or not to ED at UVA vs. possibly getting 3/4 tuition somewhere like SMU. Since I'm walking away from a good job to do this, I'm already pot committed so it's worth the money to me for much better post-graduation prospects. IBR may not be a great safety net, but it is a safety net nonetheless. I'm a Texas resident and one thing that could have made the decision tough would have been deciding between UT with instate tuition vs. T12 at sticker. Since I'm below their pseudo 3.4 threshold, it made the decision to ED much easier.




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