Dilemma..

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nStiver
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:15 am

Dilemma..

Postby nStiver » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:54 pm

So, I am a splitter with a relatively low GPA and a 164 LSAT. I retook in October but did not get the 170+ score that I hoped for, and now my options are severely limited. I am a New Mexico resident, and have lived here all my life. I do not necessarily want to stay in NM, but if that is what I have to do, I will do it.

I have now lost any possibility of getting scholarship money to go to any 2nd law schools in the Pacific North West, my original plan. Even if I do get accepted to anywhere in Oregon or Seattle, I will have to pay full price, which is upwards of 30k a year, plus living expenses. I do not want to graduate with a quarter million dollars of student loan debt. However, the starting salaries of students from schools like Lewis and Clark and University of Oregon seem to be much higher, like in the 100K range (supposedly).

On the other hand, as a NM resident, I can get into UNM easily. Also, the tuition for in-state students is a hell of a deal: $13,660 a year. I was surprised to see that UNM was ranked above UofO and just a few places behind L&C. However, the starting salaries for UNM graduates is way below the 100k mark, more like 50-60k. That aside, the cost of living in NM is low, and UNM grads have great access to the legal market in the state. There are also loan forgiveness programs for lawyers willing to take PD jobs, etc.

Another drawback to going to UNM is to be chained to the sate of New Mexico for the rest of my life. I suppose it would be possible to land a job in another state if I really hustle and get a decent amount of experience in NM, but that is no guarantee. I am married, and I know that my wife does not want to live in NM for the rest of our lives, nor do I.

So, do I go out on a limb and go into debt to go to school elsewhere (assuming I get in)? The pro's: Getting out of NM, potentially making more money. Cons: Mountain of debt, potentially stuck in shitty job till I am 50 paying it off. Or, do I stay in NM and save money. Pro's: Going to school for cheap, Getting out of debt faster, guaranteed a job in the Albuquerque legal market. Con's: Potentially living in NM for the rest of my life, not making as much money as I could have if I went elsewhere.

This is a really tough decision. Does anyone have any insight? Has anyone else been in a similar situation?
Last edited by nStiver on Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JakeL
Posts: 453
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:30 pm

Re: Dilemma..

Postby JakeL » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:18 pm

Did you mean 16K a year? 16K a semester sounds pretty expensive for a state school, and not a good deal for UNM.

Regardless, the more work experience you have, the less it matters as far as mobility. It's not like a UNM degree is noticeably less portable than Seattle U, Lewis and Clark, or Oregon...

nStiver
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:15 am

Re: Dilemma..

Postby nStiver » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:20 pm

I was wrong, it is 13,660 a YEAR for in state students.

LurkerNoMore
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:05 pm

Re: Dilemma..

Postby LurkerNoMore » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:52 pm

Standard advice, but retake.

Seriously -- you are talking about tens of thousands of dollars on the line. Raise your score and go to NM or the like for free, or get into a school that will give you realistic opportunities to repay debt. You have the rest of your life to be an attorney. Waiting a year to save the equivalent of a down payment for a house is worth the time.

nStiver
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:15 am

Re: Dilemma..

Postby nStiver » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:43 pm

I am asking schools to let me take again in December. Balls to the wall this time. No fucking lack of sleep the night before, total mental preparation. I am going to be an LSAT ninja.

I'm going to be the fucking Michael Jordan of the LSAT. I will come back a little older, but maybe a little wiser too.

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NewLobo
Posts: 95
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 6:01 pm

Re: Dilemma..

Postby NewLobo » Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:26 pm

nStiver wrote:Pro's: Going to school for cheap, Getting out of debt faster, guaranteed a job in the Albuquerque legal market. Con's: Potentially living in NM for the rest of my life, not making as much money as I could have if I went elsewhere.


How are you guaranteed a job in albuquerque after school?

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2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: Dilemma..

Postby 2014 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:53 pm

nStiver wrote:However, the starting salaries of students from schools like Lewis and Clark and University of Oregon seem to be much higher, like in the 100K range (supposedly).

Oh god...

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Grizz
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Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Dilemma..

Postby Grizz » Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:00 pm

nStiver wrote:However, the starting salaries of students from schools like Lewis and Clark and University of Oregon seem to be much higher, like in the 100K range (supposedly).

lololololololololololololololololololol

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ggocat
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Re: Dilemma..

Postby ggocat » Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:17 pm

You will probably not be in a better financial situation (weighing debt and job prospects) if you go to a peer school out of state. Of course money isn't everything. If you really don't want to stay in NM, then don't. But understand that you will be paying a premium for leaving.




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