Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

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Grizz
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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby Grizz » Sun May 09, 2010 5:13 pm

GeePee wrote:Right. You might be thinking that it's a poor investment, but unless the person is asking your opinion, it's best to just wish him luck and hope that his choice works out.


Also good advice. I just assumed that these two were the kind of friends that are accustomed to giving each other advice about stuff.

katjust
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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby katjust » Sun May 09, 2010 5:29 pm

I'd rather be happy than have money.

Happiness isn't everything, but money is nothing without happiness.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby Blindmelon » Sun May 09, 2010 5:34 pm

katjust wrote:I'd rather be happy than have money.

Happiness isn't everything, but money is nothing without happiness.


Its a lot easier to be happy when you aren't crying looking at bills that keep piling up and you have roommates until your 40/can't buy a house for your family b/c you're paying off 200k in debt/can't discharge the loans in bankruptcy. But hey, liking work = happiness, right? Oh wait, it doesn't.

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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby Quine » Sun May 09, 2010 5:36 pm

katjust wrote:I'd rather be happy than have money.

Happiness isn't everything, but money is nothing without happiness.


That's plainly wrong. Spare this conversation your platitudes.

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DerrickRose
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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby DerrickRose » Sun May 09, 2010 5:38 pm

ITT: The theoretical underpinnings of prestige whoring.

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uwb09
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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby uwb09 » Sun May 09, 2010 5:39 pm

LateNight wrote:
uwb09 wrote:if working as an attorney for 30 years will increase his life's happiness exponentially then working as whatever the hell he is working as now, then what's wrong with investing money in that?


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Don't lawyers have about the lowest job satisfaction ratings of anyone? At least practicing attorneys.

20 bucks says because of the whole "being a lawyer = being rich" association with the profession for the past few decades has had a large impact on the amount of people who got into it for the money, and are working massively long hours doing something they hate

as i brought up in another thread, if being a doctor was as easy as being a lawyer, there would be a surplus over there also, and just as many depressed people, because they would be going into it for all the wrong reasons

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uwb09
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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby uwb09 » Sun May 09, 2010 5:42 pm

rad law wrote:
DerrickRose wrote:Well, the quickest way to condemn yourself to living paycheck to paycheck is to get yourself into debt. There is no difference between student loan debt and credit card debt really.


Student loan debt is worse because it's at least theoretically possible to discharge credit card debt in bankruptcy, while student loan debt is basically impossible to get rid of.

i strongly disagree

there are government student loan discharge programs.

If you fail at your law career, you can go into a public service career/education career (there is ALWAYS a shortage of each of these) and your loan is discharged at 10 years, and you only pay 10% of your income. Or if you can get into PI/Gov't law work this also.

with IBR there are caps on the amount of money you pay each year (i think it was at 12% right now?) 12% of 45K a year is still only around 5K a year, leaving you making over 40K a year, people would kill for that income, and i believe if you make all your payments it becomes discharged after 25 years

student loan debt has a fixed interest rate, credit card companies can jack you out the backside on interest rates for no reason whatsoever

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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby r2b2ct » Sun May 09, 2010 5:58 pm

GeePee wrote:
NayBoer wrote:I didn't see the part where your friend asked your opinion or advice. It's acceptable to throw out opinions like retake or wait a year on TLS because people come here looking for advice. Also, many people lurk but don't post, so the advice can be helpful to people who don't post in the thread.

But if your friend didn't ask for your advice, don't go overboard giving it to him. Do you tell him where to live, whom to date, or where to work? If not, then you may be overstepping your bounds here.

Right. You might be thinking that it's a poor investment, but unless the person is asking your opinion, it's best to just wish him luck and hope that his choice works out.

I sort of agree, but I think this really depends on how much you care about what happens to this friend. If you just want a pleasant acquaintance, then go ahead and smile and congratulate him/her. If you care, then make sure the friend knows exactly what he/she is getting into (I don't mean you should hound them until they change their decision, but inform them if you think they are uninformed). We're talking about preventing a friend from making a major mistake based on a lack of understanding/information, not persuading him to change his or her preferences.

And I'm not sure why people are talking about happiness vs. money in this case as if it's a fair simplification. Just because someone is excited to go to a law school doesn't mean it will make them happy in the long run.

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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby shutterbug » Sun May 09, 2010 6:34 pm

iShotFirst wrote:
uwb09 wrote:
PS - just because he's making good money at his job doesn't mean he's happy with it. The job I have now could pay me 66K a year, and i'd still want to quit to go to law school. Maybe i'd stick it out another year just to save up a bit more, but I effing hate it and it lowers my overall happiness in life


This. Really who are you to say that he should try and get that job back? It might be hell for him. Rather than get anecdotes of people who failed that went to USD, (because we all know he wont listen anyways and believe that he will make top x%), why dont you really make him figure out what being a lawyer is all about and try and help him see if he would be happy in that career or not? If you arent happy in your job, 40 hrs/ week @100k/month can be hell, but if you are happy, 80hrs/week @ 40k can be great.


Great response. Unfortunately, it is too much for most of the elitist-money-hungry-T14 or bust-morons that infest this otherwise worthwhile forum.

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DerrickRose
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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby DerrickRose » Sun May 09, 2010 6:42 pm

shutterbug wrote:
iShotFirst wrote:
uwb09 wrote:
PS - just because he's making good money at his job doesn't mean he's happy with it. The job I have now could pay me 66K a year, and i'd still want to quit to go to law school. Maybe i'd stick it out another year just to save up a bit more, but I effing hate it and it lowers my overall happiness in life


This. Really who are you to say that he should try and get that job back? It might be hell for him. Rather than get anecdotes of people who failed that went to USD, (because we all know he wont listen anyways and believe that he will make top x%), why dont you really make him figure out what being a lawyer is all about and try and help him see if he would be happy in that career or not? If you arent happy in your job, 40 hrs/ week @100k/month can be hell, but if you are happy, 80hrs/week @ 40k can be great.


Great response. Unfortunately, it is too much for most of the elitist-money-hungry-T14 or bust-morons that infest this otherwise worthwhile forum.


Ugh. The money hungry people are exactly the ones we're trying to scare away, as well as the ones who would throw away 200k only to find they can't even get any job as a lawyer.

Elitism for its own sake is at an all-time low on this board. Welcome to ITE.

bebesu
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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby bebesu » Sun May 09, 2010 6:49 pm

DerrickRose wrote:
uwb09 wrote:
rad law wrote:
uwb09 wrote:if your friend knows the risks and is still excited, then how about you worry about fixing your own levels of happiness, instead of trying to destroy others?


Because this friend has no conception of sound financial planning.

i know this logic goes against many people on here who have no concept of happiness outside of large bank accounts

but money isn't everything, if you suffer a massive stroke and die at 54, that huge savings account you've been stockpiling working a job you hate your whole life is useless

it's not like he's buying up 150K in stocks, he's investing 150K to obtain a JD, which he then can use to work as an attorney/judge/whatever for the rest of his life

if working as an attorney for 30 years will increase his life's happiness exponentially then working as whatever the hell he is working as now, then what's wrong with investing money in that?


Financial security is happiness for a lot of people (or probably more accurately, financial insecurity is unhappiness). Not "I can retire right now" security, but "I'm not living paycheck to paycheck" security.

Well, the quickest way to condemn yourself to living paycheck to paycheck is to get yourself into debt. There is no difference between student loan debt and credit card debt really.

For someone who has gainful employment, a non-T14 law school at anything resembling sticker price is a very poor financial decision.

Now, if you hate your job and you really want to become a lawyer (and you understand what a lawyer actually does) then sure, there are other factors to take into account.

But what I see in 0L's (and actual law students for that matter) is a group of people that wants to make money. They aren't all wealth-hungry lemmings who have no particular interest in law, but they aren't in it to be impoverished either.

Well for ~75% of the graduates of USD, that's exactly where they will end up.



What basis do you have for saying 75% of USD students will be impoverished? The 2009 employment statistics:

http://www.sandiego.edu/law/careers/stu ... t_data.php

Very detailed and very much in contrast with your statement. Do you guys just make this stuff up?


The blind elitism on this board is repulsive sometimes.
Last edited by bebesu on Sun May 09, 2010 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby quickquestionthanks » Sun May 09, 2010 6:58 pm

Thanks for the replies. I've known him for 10+ years, so I'm not overstepping my bounds by giving him advice. He certainly gives me unsolicited advice all the time.

I'm quite certain he knows very little about the legal profession, let alone the state of the job market. He doesn't currently think he's going to be in the X% because he is not aware of how class rank determines legal hiring (at least until I talked to him last night). I doubt if he even knows what classes we will be taking 1L. So I really don't think I'm doing him a disservice here.

His unhappiness in his former job is not a result of work conditions. It's a pretty standard, white collar 9-5 office job where he gets to talk to people all day. I know him very well (personally and academically) and have a strong suspicion he will both hate law school and hate being a lawyer.

Sometimes the truth sucks.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby Aqualibrium » Sun May 09, 2010 7:07 pm

So hypothetical man A believes that money doesn't equal happiness.

Because of this belief, he quits his paying job to pay sticker at t2 law school.

Hypothetical man believes that he will be happier as a lawyer than in his current profession.

What happens to hypothetical man if he never gets a legal job?

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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby Tautology » Sun May 09, 2010 7:15 pm

hombredulce wrote:What happens to hypothetical man if he never gets a legal job?


He will probably be sad, therefore we should never try to do anything because it might not work out.

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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby Aqualibrium » Sun May 09, 2010 7:17 pm

Tautology wrote:
hombredulce wrote:What happens to hypothetical man if he never gets a legal job?


He will probably be sad, therefore we should never try to do anything because it might not work out.



I didn't mean to imply that. I was just pointing more to the fact that he should at least be warned/be aware that things may not as planned.

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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby Blindmelon » Sun May 09, 2010 7:26 pm

DerrickRose wrote:
shutterbug wrote:
iShotFirst wrote:
uwb09 wrote:
PS - just because he's making good money at his job doesn't mean he's happy with it. The job I have now could pay me 66K a year, and i'd still want to quit to go to law school. Maybe i'd stick it out another year just to save up a bit more, but I effing hate it and it lowers my overall happiness in life


This. Really who are you to say that he should try and get that job back? It might be hell for him. Rather than get anecdotes of people who failed that went to USD, (because we all know he wont listen anyways and believe that he will make top x%), why dont you really make him figure out what being a lawyer is all about and try and help him see if he would be happy in that career or not? If you arent happy in your job, 40 hrs/ week @100k/month can be hell, but if you are happy, 80hrs/week @ 40k can be great.


Great response. Unfortunately, it is too much for most of the elitist-money-hungry-T14 or bust-morons that infest this otherwise worthwhile forum.


Ugh. The money hungry people are exactly the ones we're trying to scare away, as well as the ones who would throw away 200k only to find they can't even get any job as a lawyer.

Elitism for its own sake is at an all-time low on this board. Welcome to ITE.


I don't think its elitism - debt is evil. In fact, its the opposite of elitism telling someone to not go spend 200k on a prestigious degree. SD is a great school - its just that money really is important. Its not that you have to make $$$ BANK!@#!@ to be happy, but 2k/month loan payment + making 40k/year is really not something I or anyone else should want someone to do. Yes, you may love the job, but there are cheaper options out there - its pretty elitist just to go to a school b/c its the best you got into.

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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby DerrickRose » Sun May 09, 2010 7:33 pm

bebesu wrote:What basis do you have for saying 75% of USD students will be impoverished? The 2009 employment statistics:

http://www.sandiego.edu/law/careers/stu ... t_data.php

Very detailed and very much in contrast with your statement. Do you guys just make this stuff up sometimes?


The blind elitism on this board is repulsive sometimes.


Sure, lets do it.

That 96% employment number is BS. If you take away the non-reporters and solo practitioners, their employment rate after 9 months is 81%. That's still not that bad for a T2 ITE, but its important to note. Plus another 6% went back to their own employer. Not good times to go into debt just to go back to your old job.

There is also another 8% of people who are listed as "academic". That's a very broad category, and at USD, its virtually impossible to get a legal academic placement straight out of law school. So that means its high school teachers, people taking out yet more debt to get some other degree, or most likely the school creating fake work to trump up their admissions stats. Its actually very good of the schools to do that to help some of its students buy time to look for jobs, but it still ain't paying the bills.

So that's 33% that certainly count as "impoverished". We'll have to deal with a definition of "impoverished" from there. How about we say someone who can't pay their loans at sticker (~180k) and has to rely on IBR, and after taking 10% of their income off the top for IBR is bringing home less than 50k pre-tax. With California taxes and cost-of-living, that's pretty low wages.

So that category takes out half the government jobs, all of the public interest ones (at least these students probably knew what they were getting themselves into), and half of the clerkships (that means any clerkships btw, these people are not clerking for article III judges I assure you, at least not more than half of them.)

We're up to 43%

Now, the private sector salaries. There's two things they aren't telling you here:
1. The percent of the 164 private sector graduates that actually reported salary numbers. There is rampant anecdotal evidence that the non-reporters are making less money, which is fairly intuitive as well. Deplorable TTT's often have response rates of about 40%. Reputable schools are usually more like 80%. We'll give USD the benefit of the doubt. Still, that's 10% more in the "impoverished" category.

2. They give you the "mean" instead of the "median". This is deliberately deceptive, because the high-end salaries drive the mean up. There are very few students actually making between the $76k and $104k you see in the medians. Those first two categories have at least half of their students below our line. There are probably two or three in the third category as well. That's 43 more, or 13%.

Before we add it all up, you'll notice that there what looks to be about 35 or so honest-to-goodness Biglaw lawyers. Probably one or two of the clerkships and a couple of the government workers are looking at well-paying and successful futures as well. That's about 15% of the class, which again, is pretty impressive for a T2. But I would bet my wallet that those 15% are disproportionately the ones with large scholarships who now not only have the big earning potential, but also don't have as much debt to pay off.

They have been subsidized by the 66% of the class who falls in our "impoverished" category who is relying on IBR to pay back their loans and who is bringing home a salary that is very modest for the area they live in. And as I said above, the sticker-payers are disproportionately in this group.

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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby uwb09 » Sun May 09, 2010 7:37 pm

Blindmelon wrote:I don't think its elitism - debt is evil. In fact, its the opposite of elitism telling someone to not go spend 200k on a prestigious degree. SD is a great school - its just that money really is important. Its not that you have to make $$$ BANK!@#!@ to be happy, but 2k/month loan payment + making 40k/year is really not something I or anyone else should want someone to do. Yes, you may love the job, but there are cheaper options out there - its pretty elitist just to go to a school b/c its the best you got into.

according to an IBR calculator i found online, if you graduate with 160K in debt, and start off making 45K a year, you're monthly payments would be $360 a month, not $2,000 a month

$360 a month isn't that big of a deal, many people make bigger payments on their cars

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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby bebesu » Sun May 09, 2010 8:27 pm

DerrickRose wrote:
bebesu wrote:What basis do you have for saying 75% of USD students will be impoverished? The 2009 employment statistics:

http://www.sandiego.edu/law/careers/stu ... t_data.php

Very detailed and very much in contrast with your statement. Do you guys just make this stuff up sometimes?


The blind elitism on this board is repulsive sometimes.


Sure, lets do it.

That 96% employment number is BS. If you take away the non-reporters and solo practitioners, their employment rate after 9 months is 81%. That's still not that bad for a T2 ITE, but its important to note. Plus another 6% went back to their own employer. Not good times to go into debt just to go back to your old job.

There is also another 8% of people who are listed as "academic". That's a very broad category, and at USD, its virtually impossible to get a legal academic placement straight out of law school. So that means its high school teachers, people taking out yet more debt to get some other degree, or most likely the school creating fake work to trump up their admissions stats. Its actually very good of the schools to do that to help some of its students buy time to look for jobs, but it still ain't paying the bills.

So that's 33% that certainly count as "impoverished". We'll have to deal with a definition of "impoverished" from there. How about we say someone who can't pay their loans at sticker (~180k) and has to rely on IBR, and after taking 10% of their income off the top for IBR is bringing home less than 50k pre-tax. With California taxes and cost-of-living, that's pretty low wages.

So that category takes out half the government jobs, all of the public interest ones (at least these students probably knew what they were getting themselves into), and half of the clerkships (that means any clerkships btw, these people are not clerking for article III judges I assure you, at least not more than half of them.)

We're up to 43%

Now, the private sector salaries. There's two things they aren't telling you here:
1. The percent of the 164 private sector graduates that actually reported salary numbers. There is rampant anecdotal evidence that the non-reporters are making less money, which is fairly intuitive as well. Deplorable TTT's often have response rates of about 40%. Reputable schools are usually more like 80%. We'll give USD the benefit of the doubt. Still, that's 10% more in the "impoverished" category.

2. They give you the "mean" instead of the "median". This is deliberately deceptive, because the high-end salaries drive the mean up. There are very few students actually making between the $76k and $104k you see in the medians. Those first two categories have at least half of their students below our line. There are probably two or three in the third category as well. That's 43 more, or 13%.

Before we add it all up, you'll notice that there what looks to be about 35 or so honest-to-goodness Biglaw lawyers. Probably one or two of the clerkships and a couple of the government workers are looking at well-paying and successful futures as well. That's about 15% of the class, which again, is pretty impressive for a T2. But I would bet my wallet that those 15% are disproportionately the ones with large scholarships who now not only have the big earning potential, but also don't have as much debt to pay off.

They have been subsidized by the 66% of the class who falls in our "impoverished" category who is relying on IBR to pay back their loans and who is bringing home a salary that is very modest for the area they live in. And as I said above, the sticker-payers are disproportionately in this group.



You have some pretty critical assumptions that are not entirely accurate. For one, your assumption of sticker price (180K) is far more than that of the actual debt load of 2009 graduates (110K - http://www.sandiego.edu/law/financial_a ... mation.php). This means that not only is your base assumption for the meaning of "impoverished" (which is the whole underlying point of your analysis) incorrect, but that more than just the top 15% are receiving grants or scholarships for this to be possible.

Next, the fact that people go back to their old employer does not necessarily mean that they went back to their old job. They very well could have been hired as an attorney at their former place of employment after they graduated. In fact, some employers actually pay for at least some of their employees tuition while attending law school.

Look, I definitely agree that if you're getting into 180k amount of debt you should proceed with caution. But the fact of the matter is, most students at USD are not taking out nearly that much debt, undermining the whole basis of your argument. If you're taking out almost 200k worth of debt at any school, even schools in the Tier 1 and (dare I say it) in the Top 14, there are chances you could also be "impoverished" as you define it. To say that most students will end up that way at USD is just not accurate.

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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby voice of reason » Sun May 09, 2010 10:37 pm

DerrickRose wrote:That 96% employment number is BS. If you take away the non-reporters and solo practitioners, their employment rate after 9 months is 81%.


Thanks for laying out the reasoning so carefully. This is part of what makes TLS interesting. I want to take issue with your interpretations, however.

You've imputed unemployment/poverty to all of the non-reporters. Might be true, might not. We don't know. It's been asserted that nonrespondents have less employment success than respondents to these surveys, but even if that's true it doesn't justify imputing unemployment/poverty to 100% of the nonrespondents.

You've also equated solo practice with unemployment/poverty. Again, we don't know. Solo practice straight out of law school may be a highly dubious proposition, but some people make a go of it, so it's debatable to impute poverty to all of these people.

DerrickRose wrote:That's still not that bad for a T2 ITE, but its important to note. Plus another 6% went back to their own employer. Not good times to go into debt just to go back to your old job.


As bebesu noted, we shouldn't assume these people went back to their old jobs. Nor should we necessarily assume that they're poor if they did go back to their old jobs. I wouldn't be poor if I returned to my current job after law school, and I could imagine working for my current employer as a lawyer.

DerrickRose wrote:There is also another 8% of people who are listed as "academic". That's a very broad category, and at USD, its virtually impossible to get a legal academic placement straight out of law school. So that means its high school teachers, people taking out yet more debt to get some other degree, or most likely the school creating fake work to trump up their admissions stats. Its actually very good of the schools to do that to help some of its students buy time to look for jobs, but it still ain't paying the bills.


Agreed that this is unlikely to be a category full of success stories. But they could also be teaching criminal justice at a community college, and that could be what they want to do, so it's possible for these people to be non-poor. We don't know how many are poor/unemployed, so it's a strong assumption to say that all of them are.

DerrickRose wrote:So that's 33% that certainly count as "impoverished".
[snip]


That's 33% that stand a good chance of counting as impoverished. It's well short of a certainty with these ambiguous data. It might 20%. We don't know.

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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby ymp4 » Mon May 10, 2010 2:11 am

First, if you can manage to be in top 50% of the class, you'll probably get a ok job (80k/yr job) after graduation. However, trust me. USD is getting tougher every year and getting in the top 50% is not easy. Also, based on his LSAT score, he'll probably not do well in law school. Amazingly, LSAT score highly correlate with students' ability to do well in law school. I am thinking USD took him because of his GPA, but USD offer students with low LSAT score (like your friend) special after school session to make sure he doesnt fall behind.

Second, average debt USD students have after USD is 110k. If you pay full sticker for three year, its about 120k (or 130k considering the tuition increase every year) With housing and food, you expect to spend 200k during three year (plus opportunity cost of not earning money) Presently interest rate on financial aid is ridiculous. Its like 6.5% on fed loan (maximum amount you can get a year is about 20k) its like 8.5% for private loan. If you in fact withdraw full 200k, expect to pay 1400 month for interest only. Can you really manage 1400 plus principal a month??? Keep in mind that interest accrue during school as well, thus your debt will be alot higher than you borrowed right after law school.

Even if you land a job for 80k a year, your net income is only 4500 a month. I honestly dont know how soon you have to pay back the financial aid, but assuming you have to pay back within 20 year, your monthly payment for financial aid is about 2200. Thus, you make 4500. pay 2200. you get yourself 2300 a month. Thats so pathetic.

You cant compare financial aid to credit card debt. No credit card company lend you 200k.

If you cant make into top 50%, you will end up practicing for public sector that pays you about 50-60k a year.

Its investment, but unlike other investment, you are forfeiting your job to get this investment.

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Re: Friend just got into San Diego, excited about paying sticker

Postby ymp4 » Mon May 10, 2010 2:24 am

Though I dont know where all the 8% of people who are listed as "academic" go to, I know a number of ppl who stayed in USD for its LLM program. USD's LLM is tax is fairly respected in the community. And yes, if you stayed in USD for LLM, its considered academic, and I dont see anything wrong with it.

The reason the average debt of USD student is only 110k is that about half of USD students get either scholarship or grant. USD is pretty generous with money. Also, its easy to get work study program that pays you 10-15 dollars a hour for doing absolutely nothing.




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