when does law school become a good financial decision?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

In my circumstance, law school is a...

Very Good Financial Decision
13
24%
Good Financial Decision
37
67%
Bad Financial Decision
4
7%
Very Bad Financial Decision
1
2%
 
Total votes: 55

capn aa
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:43 am

when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby capn aa » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:22 pm

I was recently offered a substantial scholly (120k...90% tuition) at a strong (T30) school in the Midwest region. My ambitions are high but not unrealistic. If I attend law school, I would like to pursue a well-paying (over 60k a year hopefully) job in a medium-to-large city (Indianapolis, Louisville, Chicago, St. Louis, etc.) that related to something I am actually interested in (immigration, civil rights, education, politics, etc.) - not just scan documents all day or only focus on "billable hours".

While, on one hand, I am excited to pursue a prestigious degree and receive a strong education, I am weary of the information I have been reading lately regarding the state of the legal market. Based on the general consensus and the recent article in the NYT, it seems safe to say that paying sticker for T-2 and down law schools is often a terrible financial decision.

But my question is at what point (how much scholarship $, how highly ranked the school is, etc.) does it become a smart financial decision. I know that this would also come down to my work ethic and individual characteristics, but based on the info. above, do you think is it a + EV decision for me?

Living expenses, lost wages, etc. have to be factored in as well.

sccjnthn
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:58 pm

Re: when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby sccjnthn » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:26 pm

Also curious to hear what the responses are. I'm a 1L in a similar position and the combination of this article as well as the initial trickle of grades (mostly bad) has me wondering whether it's worth it.

User avatar
Adjudicator
Posts: 1108
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:18 am

Re: when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby Adjudicator » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:32 pm

That sounds pretty reasonable to me. If the school is in a region that you would be happy living in, and they're offering you that much money, I would say that it sounds like a good move.

Woozy
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:29 pm

Re: when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby Woozy » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:58 pm

How are we supposed to figure out if it is +EV if you don't tell us what your current options and opportunity costs are?

Assuming average for recent graduate of random nontechnical undergraduate major, and factoring in your reasonable salary goals, I doubt many would argue against taking an almost full ride to T30.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby Grizz » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:03 am

What T30

nina09
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:27 am

Re: when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby nina09 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:16 am

Since the scholarship possible covers 90% , is a good investment if you know how develop a plan to get rid of the 10% fast and don't borrow more than you need. I don't know the cost of living or if you have debt from your undergrad.

I also think a problem is that people get to attach to their dream job and if they don't get the dream job they don't react fast enough and that debts become bigger.

Make sure you have a plan b to keep yourself afloat and it will be all ok.

My opinion law school becomes a good financial decision when it complements your B.A , providing you with a wider range of job opportunities . It depends by individual.
Last edited by nina09 on Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

kehoema2
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby kehoema2 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:17 am

rad law wrote:What T30


He's got Louisville, Indianapolis and 120k. I'm betting it's Indiana.

capn aa
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:43 am

Re: when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby capn aa » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:45 pm

Good read guys...IU-Bloomington is correct

Should have included something about opportunity cost. Nontechnical major from liberal arts school - currently working part-time as a private tutor and as a legislative aid for a local politician

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18424
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby bk1 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:51 pm

How much debt you have postgrad is more indicative of how good a financial decision it is. For example, GW is T30 and a 120k scholarship there will still leave you with 90k debt after graduation because of their 210k total CoA.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby JazzOne » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:57 pm

This sounds like a good deal to me, OP. Take the free degree and run. If you land your dream job, then that's just icing on the cake. And with a solid plan B, as a poster above mentioned, you should land on your feet even if OCI doesn't pan out. Try to keep your debt under $50K. I would suggest that you focus on school during 1L, but maybe you can pick up some part-time work during 2L and 3L, depending on what kind of trajectory you're on based on 1L grades and OCI.

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:46 pm

what is the GPA requirement

User avatar
dextermorgan
Posts: 1138
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:37 am

Re: when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby dextermorgan » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:47 pm

General Tso wrote:what is the GPA requirement

kehoema2
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby kehoema2 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:57 pm

Pretty sure Indiana's GPA requirement is just to maintain "good academic progress" or something along those lines.

User avatar
chrisnashville
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:46 am

Re: when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby chrisnashville » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:05 pm

dextermorgan wrote:
General Tso wrote:what is the GPA requirement


I'll assume he got the same letter I did from IU. Same scholarship. Here's the wording:

"The award is renewable contingent upon your maintaining satisfactory progress at the end of your first year and each subsequent semester thereafter and not being disciplinarily sanctioned for professional or academic misconduct."

So, don't flunk out and/or murder anyone?

User avatar
dextermorgan
Posts: 1138
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:37 am

Re: when does law school become a good financial decision?

Postby dextermorgan » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:06 pm

chrisnashville wrote:
dextermorgan wrote:
General Tso wrote:what is the GPA requirement


I'll assume he got the same letter I did from IU. Same scholarship. Here's the wording:

"The award is renewable contingent upon your maintaining satisfactory progress at the end of your first year and each subsequent semester thereafter and not being disciplinarily sanctioned for professional or academic misconduct."

So, don't flunk out and/or murder anyone?

In that case (provided you plan to stay around Indiana/Midwest) go for it.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: BuddyHoller, hwwong, Yahoo [Bot] and 5 guests