OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

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groberts
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby groberts » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:31 am

paratactical wrote:Question for y'all - I'm not quite 30 yet, but I'm definitely thinking about delaying law school until after that milestone. What are your biggest fears that come with having waited to go back to school?


Mostly I'm glad I waited. I wasn't ready before, and now I am.

"Fear" is a little strong, but I worry about, in no particular order, having enough time for my husband and kids, my husband resenting that I'm gone a lot and busy, not being able to do all the extras and fun stuff the young kids do (everything from clubs to Bar Review), and how sucky it will be to live like students again after having a dual income for a long time.

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paratactical
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby paratactical » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:36 am

groberts wrote:"Fear" is a little strong, but I worry about, in no particular order, having enough time for my husband and kids, my husband resenting that I'm gone a lot and busy, not being able to do all the extras and fun stuff the young kids do (everything from clubs to Bar Review), and how sucky it will be to live like students again after having a dual income for a long time.

Thanks! These are definitely the kinds of things I want to think about.

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oldhippie
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby oldhippie » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:39 am

groberts wrote:
paratactical wrote:Question for y'all - I'm not quite 30 yet, but I'm definitely thinking about delaying law school until after that milestone. What are your biggest fears that come with having waited to go back to school?


Mostly I'm glad I waited. I wasn't ready before, and now I am.

"Fear" is a little strong, but I worry about, in no particular order, having enough time for my husband and kids, my husband resenting that I'm gone a lot and busy, not being able to do all the extras and fun stuff the young kids do (everything from clubs to Bar Review), and how sucky it will be to live like students again after having a dual income for a long time.

the bolded is the biggest factor for me. i have surprisingly few fears, mostly related to things like much lower income and the gd tenants who will make me go grey in the next 3 years. but generally, i am WAY better equipped for this now that i would have been before, no doubt!

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rinkrat19
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:59 am

paratactical wrote:Question for y'all - I'm not quite 30 yet, but I'm definitely thinking about delaying law school until after that milestone. What are your biggest fears that come with having waited to go back to school?


Fears...
--Quitting my job, giving up a (halfway) decent income with great public employee benefits.
--Going on shitty (and expensive) university health insurance for 3 years when I've had the ultimate HMO plan most of my life.
--Not being suited for law school studies, since it'll be so different than the engineering I did for UG.
--Not being suited for being a student at all anymore, since it's been 8 years since UG.
--Leaving my home state on my own (for more than a vacation) for the first time in my life, not knowing anyone in Chicago.
--Giving up ice hockey and snowboarding for 3 years...will I still remember how to do my 2 favorite things in the world in 2015? And will I even have time for them when I'm a busy lawyer?
--Not being able to find a renter for my condo (and thus not being able to pay the mortgage).
--Not liking being a lawyer. I'm not naive enough to think it'll be like a John Grisham novel, but I also don't really know what it will be like.
--And oh yeah, $200K+ in debt.

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introversional
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby introversional » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:32 am

rinkrat19 wrote:
paratactical wrote:Question for y'all - I'm not quite 30 yet, but I'm definitely thinking about delaying law school until after that milestone. What are your biggest fears that come with having waited to go back to school?


Fears...
--Quitting my job, giving up a (halfway) decent income with great public employee benefits.
--Going on shitty (and expensive) university health insurance for 3 years when I've had the ultimate HMO plan most of my life.
--Not being suited for law school studies, since it'll be so different than the engineering I did for UG.
--Not being suited for being a student at all anymore, since it's been 8 years since UG.
--Leaving my home state on my own (for more than a vacation) for the first time in my life, not knowing anyone in Chicago.
--Giving up ice hockey and snowboarding for 3 years...will I still remember how to do my 2 favorite things in the world in 2015? And will I even have time for them when I'm a busy lawyer?
--Not being able to find a renter for my condo (and thus not being able to pay the mortgage).
--Not liking being a lawyer. I'm not naive enough to think it'll be like a John Grisham novel, but I also don't really know what it will be like.
--And oh yeah, $200K+ in debt.


Given your fears, interests and background, I would have gone to IU for free. And, you could have kept snowboarding here: --LinkRemoved--

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Lisi
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby Lisi » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:58 pm

Well, I haven't *really* left school, other than this year that I have taken off between a PhD and LS. Still, after the first 3 years of a program, doing a PhD is very different from being a traditional 'student.' I'm used to the student (read: poor) lifestyle (though it gets harder as my friends get older - and get raises). What I am most worried about are:
--200+k in debt (especially since living expenses will not be cheap)
--potentially long distance relationship (if I don't get off of the WL at my first choice school - I should have applied earlier!!!!!!)
--not being able to memorize things as quickly and effectively as I could 6-8 years ago
--being the student and not the teacher (I've gotten very used to setting the evaluation standards)
--potential age discrimination (as has been discussed on this thread, I feel like my age-at-graduation will mean that certain options will not be available to me)

I think we should put a positive spin on this conversation. I think we should also discuss why we think our age and experiences are advantages. I'll start:
--I did a lot of partying in my 20s; I'm a lot more content now to keep things low key and feel well-rested and sharp
--Thanks to a demanding grad program, I learned to work harder and work smarter than I did as an undergrad.
--I feel that developing proficiency in other languages will help me master the unnatural language of legal writing. (Okay, that's kind of a reach!)
--I don't think I will get caught up in the competition mentality of LS as much as I would have if I had gone to LS shortly after college. My motivation is now a lot more self-derived than derived from outside sources / stimuli.

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ahduth
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby ahduth » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:13 pm

Lisi wrote:--not being able to memorize things as quickly and effectively as I could 6-8 years ago


This one is driving me a little batty. I'm not even that old, like at all. But I can clearly sense how the nature of my comprehension has changed, to where I grasp the big picture much more quickly and smaller details aren't retained as effectively. I can read a book and whip off a complex plot analysis on the spot, without going back to the text at all, yet I'll have trouble recalling the names of major characters and locations properly. It's really... weird lol.

Not sure that's an age thing or just the sheer amount of partying I did through my 20s... :D

cdawg
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby cdawg » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:26 pm

I'm not exactly sure how I managed to miss this thread over the ~year of ls prep, but it's nice to know that there are some other 30+ folks making a change.

USC just came through with a nice scholarship, so it looks like my wife and I (and the cat) will be leaving SF and moving to LA. One of the considerations about schools has been average age: USC's average age is 24, while at Lewis and Clark in Portland, OR (the other school who offered good money), it was closer to 27. However, I think there are some advantages to being a "mature" student in a sea of K-JDs. Not only do I/we have a relatively robust reason for going to law school, I expect that being an older student will make it easier to connect with the professors and administrators who are our "contemporaries." And I hope this will extend through interviews and job search; after talking to a number of lawyer friends, it's pretty clear that most new associates are pretty useless for actual work, but getting along with your colleagues and co-workers is very important, which is something that most of us have had to deal with over the years of prior work. I was a bit nervous about being a returning student, but am now looking forward to it.

Oh, and it's hard to remember that "our" goals may not be the same as those of the law school career councilor, or the hordes of 25 y/o grads. I've been listening to some of the Stanford Law pod casts, and one of the discussions mentioned that "there's no herd mentality like 2L herd mentality." It's easy to get caught up in the OCI process, and aim for nothing beyond $$$ and firm prestige when everyone is telling you that those are the most important parts of an offer. I'm trying to keep a list of my actual priorities, in an attempt to buffer some of that craziness during OCIs.

I wish Berkeley had come together, but I'm happy not to have to sweat the yearly UC "fee" increases. 30%+ in the last three years is scary, and more state cuts are inevitable. A private school will be more consistent, and make financial planning that much easier.

pkt63
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby pkt63 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:31 pm

I'm definitely a bit worried about age discrimination in employers, particularly because I am not positive that what I will end up doing will have such a great link to what I did that I can make a perfect case for how valuable my past experience, in combination with my JD, will be. IOW, I'm afraid that I'll be as blank a slate as a 25 yo, but just older.

I'm concerned about the long distance relationship thing.

And having to work hard again. My old job wasn't easy, per se, but I got used to it and I got good at it, and it was no longer intellectually demanding. Although I have been volunteering and taking up hobbies and learning a new language, none of it seems really intellectually demanding so I'm doubtful that I am as smart as I used to be! I might have gotten dumb!

Related, I'm not a little concerned that I am going to be surrounded by such amazing smart people that I just cannot hack it. I've always managed to rise to the top so far in life, but not sure I have ever been in such talented company. I am just now starting to watch The Wire and in an early episode, the Lieutenant's wife tells him, "You can't lose if you don't play." I've definitely been thinking about this. Not that that has anything to do with me being an oldie, actually. Just something I have been thinking about. The prospect of facing failure (in my core belief system, failure is anything below top 10%) is a big concern. At this point, I am not going to chicken out, but am trying to redefine what success and failure mean to me. I have 4 months to get my head in place!

I've kind of mentioned this earlier in the thread, and it's not really a fear, but relating to people 10 years younger to me as a collegue vs. a staff member that I supervise and mentor is going to be very different. I have a feeling it will be natural once I get there. I think actually that that will be good and ultimately expand my interpersonal skills.

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rinkrat19
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:51 pm

introversional wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:
paratactical wrote:Question for y'all - I'm not quite 30 yet, but I'm definitely thinking about delaying law school until after that milestone. What are your biggest fears that come with having waited to go back to school?


Fears...
--Quitting my job, giving up a (halfway) decent income with great public employee benefits.
--Going on shitty (and expensive) university health insurance for 3 years when I've had the ultimate HMO plan most of my life.
--Not being suited for law school studies, since it'll be so different than the engineering I did for UG.
--Not being suited for being a student at all anymore, since it's been 8 years since UG.
--Leaving my home state on my own (for more than a vacation) for the first time in my life, not knowing anyone in Chicago.
--Giving up ice hockey and snowboarding for 3 years...will I still remember how to do my 2 favorite things in the world in 2015? And will I even have time for them when I'm a busy lawyer?
--Not being able to find a renter for my condo (and thus not being able to pay the mortgage).
--Not liking being a lawyer. I'm not naive enough to think it'll be like a John Grisham novel, but I also don't really know what it will be like.
--And oh yeah, $200K+ in debt.


Given your fears, interests and background, I would have gone to IU for free. And, you could have kept snowboarding here: --LinkRemoved--


That ski place made me lol. It has 300 feet total vertical drop, which is about a fifth of one lift on my home mountain (and don't even get me started on Whistler-Blackcomb, my fave resort, where a single run can be six miles long.) There's another wimpy midwest ski place a few hours from Chicago (I think it has a 700' drop, wooo!), but I doubt it would be worth dragging my gear out to Illinois.

Indiana has all the same disadvantages as Northwestern except less debt, but has the added issues of likely being stuck in the region after graduation. NU has the potential to get me a job back in Portland or Seattle, which Indiana definitely does not.

And I'd rather spend 3 years in Chicago, which has the Blackhawks and Cubs and a bunch of museums, than in Bloomington.

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bedefan
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby bedefan » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:59 pm

Leira7905 wrote:
bedefan wrote:Between you and me, I think she'll call it quits at 4. But she's still full of the fire right now, and I love kids, so why not.

And feeding and clothing a ton of em on a PI salary, yeah, it might be a drag. We'll see how it goes. Our first year married we spent $7000... All year. Not a typo. We've mellowed a bit and with 2 kids we spent 25k in a year. We'll come up with extra money if we need it--she likes working sometimes, and so far I've been able to sell work and/or get grants when pressed.

:shock: Whaaaaaaa?????? HOW?!?!?


The 7 grand was more like 8 grand, but we did it by living in a burnt out town in Northern Indiana and not owning a car, not getting sick. It was crazy, like living in South America, the cost of living was that low...

The 25k: we live in a pretty cheap college town now. We do have a car, but it's old (reliable though). We do a lot of things ourselves. We rent--found somewhere cheap. Aside from that, I don't know... We're just bohemian I guess. I'd rather buy paint or paper than go to a movie anyway.

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Cavgirl
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby Cavgirl » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:56 am

Long time lurker here and am glad to have found this thread!

A bit of background info: I'm 37, married with two kids (3 yrs and 7 mos), former pilot/combat veteran. My husband was a Wall St. guy but became very ill and is now disabled and can't work. I applied to law schools in 2005, was set to go to UCLA but became ill myself, diagnosed with Lupus, and was advised to give up law to see if my Lupus could be cotrolled with meds. Knock on wood, it has, and I am now in remission. Fast fwd to now, just studying for the June LSAT and just trying to stay focused on that.

I will be using my GI Bill to pay for school so I hope to make it in to a good state school and have no debt when I finish. Moving would be really tough and I think we would only consider it if by some insane chance I get into a very high ranked school.

Congrats on all your cycles and looking fwd to getting to know you guys!

ArghItsBlarg
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby ArghItsBlarg » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:36 am

Our fear remains how we're financially going to get through the law school years and then what might happen if I can't find quick employment after graduation.

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oldhippie
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby oldhippie » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:44 am

welcome, cavgirl!!

i'm using the GI Bill as well...that's the only way we could take this risk....good luck to you!!!

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brokenwindows
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby brokenwindows » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:42 pm

ArghItsBlarg wrote:Our fear remains how we're financially going to get through the law school years and then what might happen if I can't find quick employment after graduation.


THIS! My fears exactly!! Hopefully we are worrying too much but when it comes to money matters, I tend to be a pessimist. Ha!

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:13 pm

oldhippie wrote:welcome, cavgirl!!

i'm using the GI Bill as well...that's the only way we could take this risk....good luck to you!!!


same for me. I can't wait to get this thing started. I just want to get to being a lawyer.

firemed
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby firemed » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:53 pm

paratactical wrote:Question for y'all - I'm not quite 30 yet, but I'm definitely thinking about delaying law school until after that milestone. What are your biggest fears that come with having waited to go back to school?



That family will suffer. That I won't be able to get a job because I am too old. That I won't be able to keep up with the speed 23 year olds think anymore. That those 23 year olds will annoy me enough that I will have to kill them all and end up in jail.

ETA: and debt... and the cut in income... and the grade curve (though I suppose that would be a fear regardless of age).

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Emma.
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby Emma. » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:57 pm

Hey guys,

I'm definitely on the older side of my class at a T-10 school, happy to answer questions about my experience.

firemed
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby firemed » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:58 pm

Welcome cdawg and cavgirl as well!

pkt63
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby pkt63 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:13 am

Emma. wrote:Hey guys,

I'm definitely on the older side of my class at a T-10 school, happy to answer questions about my experience.

Did the class end up splitting on sort of age lines, as far as socializing, study groups, etc?
Have you gone through OCI/looking for a firm job and if so did you get any feeling that your age was a detriment at all?
TIA!

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Cavgirl
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby Cavgirl » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:23 am

pkt63 wrote:
Emma. wrote:Hey guys,

I'm definitely on the older side of my class at a T-10 school, happy to answer questions about my experience.

Did the class end up splitting on sort of age lines, as far as socializing, study groups, etc?
Have you gone through OCI/looking for a firm job and if so did you get any feeling that your age was a detriment at all?
TIA!


My questions exactly!

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Emma.
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby Emma. » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:30 am

pkt63 wrote:
Emma. wrote:Hey guys,

I'm definitely on the older side of my class at a T-10 school, happy to answer questions about my experience.

Did the class end up splitting on sort of age lines, as far as socializing, study groups, etc?
Have you gone through OCI/looking for a firm job and if so did you get any feeling that your age was a detriment at all?
TIA!


I feel like our class is very well integrated across age lines, though I don't have kids and I imagine the few people who do maybe prioritize spending time with their families over socializing with classmates. I don't go to bar review very often, and probably party a little less than some of my friends, but there is such a big range of social activities. I think finding a group of people who are funny, supportive, and who you enjoy spending time with is pretty huge to your success in law school, and I've been lucky enough to find that. I haven't found any of my classmates to be judgmental about my age, and if anything the younger kids in the class are more self conscious about age while the older crew generally fit right in. It is really going to be up to you and what you want as far as socializing, but no one at my school would ever be ostracized in any way because of age. I am one of the oldest in my class, and one of my closest friends is the very youngest (not even 21!!).

Sure I miss some social occasions to spend time with my SO, but everyone at law school understands that we all have our own separate priorities. There might be times I chose not to go out with the crew, other times when someone else doesn't come because they have work to catch up on. I feel like I have very close friends but our friendships aren't dependent on certain activities. Everyone is doing their own thing to some degree.

I'm a 1L so haven't gone through 2L OCI. I did have 2 offers of callbacks from firms for summer jobs, one from our (much smaller) 1L OCI, one from a firm I had contacted independently, but by that time I had already accepted a judicial externship position. No one I have spoken to has suggested that age might be a negative factor in firm hiring. In fact I feel like I have an advantage in hiring as far as being able to establish ties/general lack of "flakyness" that firms might worry about in someone younger. Wherever I end up I am planning to be there for the long hall because my SO is moving with me and also has a career to establish. I'm definitely willing to communicate that to firms and they've seemed to appreciate it.

On a side note, I definitely think some distance from school and some real world experience will serve you all really well in law school. I am far from the smartest person in my (incredibly talented) class, and so far I feel like I have been outperforming my expectations based on the (intimidating) intellects of many of the younger kids in my class.

ArghItsBlarg
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby ArghItsBlarg » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:47 am

WARNING - RANT BELOW

Are we insane? I know I'm currently temporarily depressed about my situation and that that is warping my outlook, but are any of us not taking out a good $100,000 in loans? This is money that will be a dominent factor in my life and choice of employment for at least 10 years. Why am I pursuing this profession if I can't truly pursue it until my mid-40's?

I want to be a lawyer. I like the work, I like the ever-evolving intellectual aspect, I even quite like the idea of law school. But this incredibly massive pile of debt that seems inextricably linked to the process is just... insane. I can't find another word for it.

My case - I'm currently staring at a 50% scholarship to Northwestern. $75,000 that this incredible school is offering me to attend, and I'm going to have to turn it down, because I just can't even conceptualize, let alone rationalize, the $150,000 in loans that will be required alongside it. NU could offer me a full ride tomorrow, and I don't know how much of a difference it would make, because I'd still need very large amounts of loans just to keep my family fed, housed and clothed. We've got food, mortgage, utilities, taxes, books, fees, clothes, transportation, loan fees. Health insurance, jesus christ, if I could get family coverage for only $6,000/year in premiums I'll be happy. More likely we'll get turned down for private insurance and instead have to go through the school or Illinois CHIP, which will be about $13,000/year. For premiums. God help us if anyone actually gets SICK.

We've got savings, we've scrimped and saved and not been stupid and I've got a year of salary banked. Kiss that completely goodbye, that's the only way I could take this scholarship. Burn through all our savings and max out the possible loans, and that would give us just enough to live on for the 2.5 years until graduation. Then I can either go to:
1) Biglaw. Not even close to a guaranteed job, absolutely hellacious hours, and even at $160k it'll take a good 5 years to pay back the loans, assuming we continue to live as frugally as we do now. OR
2) PI/Government. This is at least a decent option. I hear tell of government attorneys making decent ($80-100k) money while keeping decent hours, but how hard is it to get those jobs? Hell, I don't even know which jobs those would be and whether I'd be tempermentally suited for them. Even then, that's TEN YEARS before the loans disappear.

The way this NU thing played out felt like providence, like this was what I'm supposed to do. I know in my gut that if I don't take it I will regret it for years to come. But I still think that I'm going to have to turn it down and it's tearing me up inside. I just can't think of anything else to do, any other way of massaging the numbers that will let us avoid living like we're in poverty for the next few years. If this economy wasn't the shit that it is, if my wife could find full time employment again, things would be different. But they're not. So instead, I'll attend my T2 school part time, never see my kids during school, work my ass of to make top 10%, or at least to keep my scholarship with its GPA stipulation, graduate with only $40k in loans and hope that the Chicago market will again be hospitable to T2 students again in 2015. This just... isn't right.

Sorry for ranting.

groberts
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby groberts » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:25 am

ArghItsBlarg wrote:WARNING - RANT BELOW

Are we insane? I know I'm currently temporarily depressed about my situation and that that is warping my outlook, but are any of us not taking out a good $100,000 in loans? This is money that will be a dominent factor in my life and choice of employment for at least 10 years. Why am I pursuing this profession if I can't truly pursue it until my mid-40's?

I want to be a lawyer. I like the work, I like the ever-evolving intellectual aspect, I even quite like the idea of law school. But this incredibly massive pile of debt that seems inextricably linked to the process is just... insane. I can't find another word for it.

My case - I'm currently staring at a 50% scholarship to Northwestern. $75,000 that this incredible school is offering me to attend, and I'm going to have to turn it down, because I just can't even conceptualize, let alone rationalize, the $150,000 in loans that will be required alongside it. NU could offer me a full ride tomorrow, and I don't know how much of a difference it would make, because I'd still need very large amounts of loans just to keep my family fed, housed and clothed. We've got food, mortgage, utilities, taxes, books, fees, clothes, transportation, loan fees. Health insurance, jesus christ, if I could get family coverage for only $6,000/year in premiums I'll be happy. More likely we'll get turned down for private insurance and instead have to go through the school or Illinois CHIP, which will be about $13,000/year. For premiums. God help us if anyone actually gets SICK.

We've got savings, we've scrimped and saved and not been stupid and I've got a year of salary banked. Kiss that completely goodbye, that's the only way I could take this scholarship. Burn through all our savings and max out the possible loans, and that would give us just enough to live on for the 2.5 years until graduation. Then I can either go to:
1) Biglaw. Not even close to a guaranteed job, absolutely hellacious hours, and even at $160k it'll take a good 5 years to pay back the loans, assuming we continue to live as frugally as we do now. OR
2) PI/Government. This is at least a decent option. I hear tell of government attorneys making decent ($80-100k) money while keeping decent hours, but how hard is it to get those jobs? Hell, I don't even know which jobs those would be and whether I'd be tempermentally suited for them. Even then, that's TEN YEARS before the loans disappear.

The way this NU thing played out felt like providence, like this was what I'm supposed to do. I know in my gut that if I don't take it I will regret it for years to come. But I still think that I'm going to have to turn it down and it's tearing me up inside. I just can't think of anything else to do, any other way of massaging the numbers that will let us avoid living like we're in poverty for the next few years. If this economy wasn't the shit that it is, if my wife could find full time employment again, things would be different. But they're not. So instead, I'll attend my T2 school part time, never see my kids during school, work my ass of to make top 10%, or at least to keep my scholarship with its GPA stipulation, graduate with only $40k in loans and hope that the Chicago market will again be hospitable to T2 students again in 2015. This just... isn't right.

Sorry for ranting.


Your rant made me sad, because this is precisely the kind of issue a nontrad faces that a young single person doesn't. Not that it doesn't suck for a young person to take out $100K+ in loans, but they aren't locked into a mortgage and all the expenses that come with having kids.

I've done my own calculations, and on a bare-bones budget that doesn't include a single extra, we are short $20K per year on my husband's salary. So I'm looking at minimum $60K in loans, assuming the best-case scenario of a full ride scholarship. Worst case is around $100K. I'd have to think very seriously before pulling the trigger on that amount for the same reason you are.

That said, have you sat down with an Excel spreadsheet or something and really done some calculations as to how this will play out? What if your wife got a job after a year? What if she got a job in a different field?

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introversional
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby introversional » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:31 am

ArghItsBlarg wrote:WARNING - RANT BELOW

Are we insane? I know I'm currently temporarily depressed about my situation and that that is warping my outlook, but are any of us not taking out a good $100,000 in loans? This is money that will be a dominent factor in my life and choice of employment for at least 10 years. Why am I pursuing this profession if I can't truly pursue it until my mid-40's?

I want to be a lawyer. I like the work, I like the ever-evolving intellectual aspect, I even quite like the idea of law school. But this incredibly massive pile of debt that seems inextricably linked to the process is just... insane. I can't find another word for it.

My case - I'm currently staring at a 50% scholarship to Northwestern. $75,000 that this incredible school is offering me to attend, and I'm going to have to turn it down, because I just can't even conceptualize, let alone rationalize, the $150,000 in loans that will be required alongside it. NU could offer me a full ride tomorrow, and I don't know how much of a difference it would make, because I'd still need very large amounts of loans just to keep my family fed, housed and clothed. We've got food, mortgage, utilities, taxes, books, fees, clothes, transportation, loan fees. Health insurance, jesus christ, if I could get family coverage for only $6,000/year in premiums I'll be happy. More likely we'll get turned down for private insurance and instead have to go through the school or Illinois CHIP, which will be about $13,000/year. For premiums. God help us if anyone actually gets SICK.

We've got savings, we've scrimped and saved and not been stupid and I've got a year of salary banked. Kiss that completely goodbye, that's the only way I could take this scholarship. Burn through all our savings and max out the possible loans, and that would give us just enough to live on for the 2.5 years until graduation. Then I can either go to:
1) Biglaw. Not even close to a guaranteed job, absolutely hellacious hours, and even at $160k it'll take a good 5 years to pay back the loans, assuming we continue to live as frugally as we do now. OR
2) PI/Government. This is at least a decent option. I hear tell of government attorneys making decent ($80-100k) money while keeping decent hours, but how hard is it to get those jobs? Hell, I don't even know which jobs those would be and whether I'd be tempermentally suited for them. Even then, that's TEN YEARS before the loans disappear.

The way this NU thing played out felt like providence, like this was what I'm supposed to do. I know in my gut that if I don't take it I will regret it for years to come. But I still think that I'm going to have to turn it down and it's tearing me up inside. I just can't think of anything else to do, any other way of massaging the numbers that will let us avoid living like we're in poverty for the next few years. If this economy wasn't the shit that it is, if my wife could find full time employment again, things would be different. But they're not. So instead, I'll attend my T2 school part time, never see my kids during school, work my ass of to make top 10%, or at least to keep my scholarship with its GPA stipulation, graduate with only $40k in loans and hope that the Chicago market will again be hospitable to T2 students again in 2015. This just... isn't right.

Sorry for ranting.



Go to NU, don't be afraid of the loans - after the deferment period, opt for the longest amortization possible. 100k at 7% for 20 years is only $775/month. That's really not bad. Don't let the huge number scare you. NU will pay off huge in the long run for you and your family.




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