GULC versus GW

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vpdonahue
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GULC versus GW

Postby vpdonahue » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:01 pm

Is GULC with no money worth it versus GW with $105,000 scholly. My judgement is to take the scholly at GW.

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HugerThanSoup
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby HugerThanSoup » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:01 pm

vpdonahue wrote:Is GULC with no money worth it versus GW with $105,000 scholly. My judgement is to take the scholly at GW.


Hands down GW. GULC is NOT worth $105k more than GW. Ever.

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Verity
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby Verity » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:04 pm

HugerThanSoup wrote:
vpdonahue wrote:Is GULC with no money worth it versus GW with $105,000 scholly. My judgement is to take the scholly at GW.


Hands down GW. GULC is NOT worth $105k more than GW. Ever.


TITCR. You'd have to be insane to think GULC is worth forgoing $105K at GW.

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bk1
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:06 pm

Neither of them sound that great considering CoA at GW, even after a 105k scholly, is still 6 figures.

ETA: I may be choosing between these options as well and don't know if I'd take either of them.
Last edited by bk1 on Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

profizzle
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Postby profizzle » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:11 pm

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Last edited by profizzle on Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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HugerThanSoup
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby HugerThanSoup » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:33 pm

bk1 wrote:Neither of them sound that great considering CoA at GW, even after a 105k scholly, is still 6 figures.

ETA: I may be choosing between these options as well and don't know if I'd take either of them.


I'm not sure the CoA is as big of a factor as you make it sound. Using the Law School's estimates (available at http://www.law.gwu.edu/Admissions/financial_aid/new/Pages/default.aspx).

Law School Specific Expenses
Tuition and Fees: $46k/year (plus ~5% increase per year) x 3 years = ~$144k
Books: ~$1500/year
Scholarship: less $105k over three years
Remaining Out-of-Pocket Costs: ~$45k

Living Expenses
Housing and Food:~$18k/year
Transportation:~$2,200/year
Health Insurance:~$1,800/year
Total "Additional" Costs: ~$66k

The catch is that the OP will be paying for housing, food, transportation, and health insurance (presumably) regardless of whether he attends law school. The costs of living in DC may be more (or less) than his current expenses. That only means that these increases should be offset against total costs. The "total additional" costs of attending GWU will only be about 60k, plus short-term loss of income.

Of course, we could debate the "value" of law school given lost opportunity costs discounted to present value, but the OP was looking for which is a better option - GULC sticker or GWU with $105k.

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bk1
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:36 pm

HugerThanSoup wrote:
bk1 wrote:Neither of them sound that great considering CoA at GW, even after a 105k scholly, is still 6 figures.

ETA: I may be choosing between these options as well and don't know if I'd take either of them.


I'm not sure the CoA is as big of a factor as you make it sound. Using the Law School's estimates (available at http://www.law.gwu.edu/Admissions/financial_aid/new/Pages/default.aspx).

Law School Specific Expenses
Tuition and Fees: $46k/year (plus ~5% increase per year) x 3 years = ~$144k
Books: ~$1500/year
Scholarship: less $105k over three years
Remaining Out-of-Pocket Costs: ~$45k

Living Expenses
Housing and Food:~$18k/year
Transportation:~$2,200/year
Health Insurance:~$1,800/year
Total "Additional" Costs: ~$66k

The catch is that the OP will be paying for housing, food, transportation, and health insurance (presumably) regardless of whether he attends law school. The costs of living in DC may be more (or less) than his current expenses. That only means that these increases should be offset against total costs. The "total additional" costs of attending GWU will only be about 60k, plus short-term loss of income.

Of course, we could debate the "value" of law school given lost opportunity costs discounted to present value, but the OP was looking for which is a better option - GULC sticker or GWU with $105k.


What? I said it was six figures after the 105k scholly, it is six figures after the 105k scholly.

I understand that you have to pay CoL everywhere, but my point was that you shoulder that debt burden. I'm not referring to opportunity costs, I am simply saying that once you graduate you will have to pay off over 100k in loans at GW. I'm not convinced that the chances of getting a job that can pay off those loans in a reasonable amount of time is high enough to justify going to GW.

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HugerThanSoup
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby HugerThanSoup » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:41 pm

bk1 wrote:
HugerThanSoup wrote:
bk1 wrote:Neither of them sound that great considering CoA at GW, even after a 105k scholly, is still 6 figures.

ETA: I may be choosing between these options as well and don't know if I'd take either of them.


I'm not sure the CoA is as big of a factor as you make it sound. Using the Law School's estimates (available at http://www.law.gwu.edu/Admissions/financial_aid/new/Pages/default.aspx).

Law School Specific Expenses
Tuition and Fees: $46k/year (plus ~5% increase per year) x 3 years = ~$144k
Books: ~$1500/year
Scholarship: less $105k over three years
Remaining Out-of-Pocket Costs: ~$45k

Living Expenses
Housing and Food:~$18k/year
Transportation:~$2,200/year
Health Insurance:~$1,800/year
Total "Additional" Costs: ~$66k

The catch is that the OP will be paying for housing, food, transportation, and health insurance (presumably) regardless of whether he attends law school. The costs of living in DC may be more (or less) than his current expenses. That only means that these increases should be offset against total costs. The "total additional" costs of attending GWU will only be about 60k, plus short-term loss of income.

Of course, we could debate the "value" of law school given lost opportunity costs discounted to present value, but the OP was looking for which is a better option - GULC sticker or GWU with $105k.


What? I said it was six figures after the 105k scholly, it is six figures after the 105k scholly.

I understand that you have to pay CoL everywhere, but my point was that you shoulder that debt burden. I'm not referring to opportunity costs, I am simply saying that once you graduate you will have to pay off over 100k in loans at GW. I'm not convinced that the chances of getting a job that can pay off those loans in a reasonable amount of time is high enough to justify going to GW.


Sorry, I must have misunderstood what you meant. Although with a $105k scholarship, it still looks like total loans would barely reach six figures, or less depending on current savings, potential earnings during law school, and a bit of frugality.

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bk1
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:42 pm

HugerThanSoup wrote:Sorry, I must have misunderstood what you meant. Although with a $105k scholarship, it still looks like total loans would barely reach six figures, or less depending on current savings, potential earnings during law school, and a bit of frugality.


It will still be around 100k. I wouldn't factor in potential earnings during school, maybe frugality can bring it lower but unlikely to be under 90k. I also wouldn't count savings unless you enjoy burning through them on top of the fact that most applicants have no savings.

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geoduck
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby geoduck » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:09 pm

bk1 wrote:
HugerThanSoup wrote:Sorry, I must have misunderstood what you meant. Although with a $105k scholarship, it still looks like total loans would barely reach six figures, or less depending on current savings, potential earnings during law school, and a bit of frugality.


It will still be around 100k. I wouldn't factor in potential earnings during school, maybe frugality can bring it lower but unlikely to be under 90k. I also wouldn't count savings unless you enjoy burning through them on top of the fact that most applicants have no savings.


And you don't think that 100k is a good price for a top 20 school? He didn't say "GULC versus GW versus full scholarship to a tier 2 in the region I want to practice?". Over ten years that'd only cost ~14.25K a year. If somehow he couldn't pay that, he could go with extended repayment and pay ~8.6K a year for 30 years, or until he started making enough to just pay the damn thing off.

Edit: And if somehow his top 20 education completely failed him and he had to work at McDonalds for the next 30 years, there're still Income Based/Contingent/Sensitive payment setups for Stafford and PLUS loans.

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bk1
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:19 pm

geoduck wrote:And you don't think that 100k is a good price for a top 20 school? He didn't say "GULC versus GW versus full scholarship to a tier 2 in the region I want to practice?". Over ten years that'd only cost ~14.25K a year. If somehow he couldn't pay that, he could go with extended repayment and pay ~8.6K a year for 30 years, or until he started making enough to just pay the damn thing off.

Edit: And if somehow his top 20 education completely failed him and he had to work at McDonalds for the next 30 years, there're still Income Based/Contingent/Sensitive payment setups for Stafford and PLUS loans.


Top 20 is meaningless. I think 100k is fine for something like the T18, but the difference between WUSTL/GW and USC is huge.

When you're making 50k/year pre-tax, 14k/year is a lot.

I'm not saying he gave other options, I was just commenting that neither GW with 105k or GULC at sticker seemed like very palatable options.

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Grizz
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby Grizz » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:22 pm

bk1 wrote:I think 100k is fine for something like the T18


That's what I'm hoping, broseph

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geoduck
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby geoduck » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:54 pm

bk1 wrote:
geoduck wrote:And you don't think that 100k is a good price for a top 20 school? He didn't say "GULC versus GW versus full scholarship to a tier 2 in the region I want to practice?". Over ten years that'd only cost ~14.25K a year. If somehow he couldn't pay that, he could go with extended repayment and pay ~8.6K a year for 30 years, or until he started making enough to just pay the damn thing off.

Edit: And if somehow his top 20 education completely failed him and he had to work at McDonalds for the next 30 years, there're still Income Based/Contingent/Sensitive payment setups for Stafford and PLUS loans.


Top 20 is meaningless. I think 100k is fine for something like the T18, but the difference between WUSTL/GW and USC is huge.

When you're making 50k/year pre-tax, 14k/year is a lot.

I'm not saying he gave other options, I was just commenting that neither GW with 105k or GULC at sticker seemed like very palatable options.


Income dependent payment plans allow you to pay at maximum 20% of your disposable, post tax income. And if he's making that 50K from the government there are all sorts of ways to lower amount owed. I think you are seriously underestimating the value of a GW education.

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bk1
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:58 pm

geoduck wrote:Income dependent payment plans allow you to pay at maximum 20% of your disposable, post tax income. And if he's making that 50K from the government there are all sorts of ways to lower amount owed. I think you are seriously underestimating the value of a GW education.


IBR is 25 years for non-public service jobs. I'm talking about making 50k at a small firm.

I might be underestimating the placement power of GW, but even so I doubt it is by that much.

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AreJay711
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:08 pm

GW has a very good reputation i the area. I think a 100K scholarship makes it worth it -- it is highly unlikely you won't find any job even if you miss biglaw and that job will give you at least a middle class life. It isn't like we are talking about dropping 100K on undergrad or some TTT here.

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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby cngreen » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:20 pm

Am totally in that position (GW w/$$ v. GULC at sticker). Remember, GULC's LRAP is awesome, if you are going into public interest.

However, if you are going into firm work . . . I think that's a lot harder decision. GW is very tempting.

BeachandRun23
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby BeachandRun23 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:41 pm

On the latest data, gulc placed 48.5% into nlj250 or clerkships, GW 36.5%. Both schools probably have a bit of self selection out of those types of jobs and into govt/public service as well making the stats slightly under inflated (one would think).

Nevertheless, GULC gives you a much better chance at biglaw. 12% is alot.

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bk1
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby bk1 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:59 pm

BeachandRun23 wrote:On the latest data, gulc placed 48.5% into nlj250 or clerkships, GW 36.5%. Both schools probably have a bit of self selection out of those types of jobs and into govt/public service as well making the stats slightly under inflated (one would think).

Nevertheless, GULC gives you a much better chance at biglaw. 12% is alot.


$100,000 dollars is a lot too. GW is definitely the safer option considering you're gonna be pretty fucked if you fail out of biglaw and LRAP at GULC. Though I'd posit that you are going to be decently screwed at GW in the same position considering you still have 100k in loans (though not nearly as bad as GULCS 200k in loans).

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bender18
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby bender18 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:52 pm

GW gets so much unwarranted hate on here sometimes haha.

I've also noticed that certain people don't realize that all the money is NOT going towards your law education. You have to pay for food, housing, insurance, and transportation regardless of what you do. Yes, DC is more expensive, but you also get a ton of opportunities in DC not found elsewhere.

Economically speaking, it really all depends on what you're giving up by going to law school (whatever that may be) and how much the law education is worth to you. The answer to that question is different for everyone.
Last edited by bender18 on Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Law Sauce
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby Law Sauce » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:03 pm

bk1 wrote:
BeachandRun23 wrote:On the latest data, gulc placed 48.5% into nlj250 or clerkships, GW 36.5%. Both schools probably have a bit of self selection out of those types of jobs and into govt/public service as well making the stats slightly under inflated (one would think).

Nevertheless, GULC gives you a much better chance at biglaw. 12% is alot.


$100,000 dollars is a lot too. GW is definitely the safer option considering you're gonna be pretty fucked if you fail out of biglaw and LRAP at GULC. Though I'd posit that you are going to be decently screwed at GW in the same position considering you still have 100k in loans (though not nearly as bad as GULCS 200k in loans).


Bk, I am honestly not challenging your authority or devaluing your opinion, but I am just wondering what experience you have to base your opinions on tls off of? I only ask because I know that you are a 0L and I am trying to figure out with what authority / how I should understand the information that you give? I am actually wondering, I am not attacking you...

caveat: it is true that as a 0L you spend a lot of time researching this, so it is not true that you can say that because you are a 0L you dont know what you are talking about, because as a 0L you are most invested in this and thus doing the most work researching it.

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bk1
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby bk1 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:46 pm

bender18 wrote:GW gets so much unwarranted hate on here sometimes haha.

I've also noticed that certain people don't realize that all the money is NOT going towards your law education. You have to pay for food, housing, insurance, and transportation regardless of what you do. Yes, DC is more expensive, but you also get a ton of opportunities in DC not found elsewhere.

Economically speaking, it really all depends on what you're giving up by going to law school (whatever that may be) and how much the law education is worth to you. The answer to that question is different for everyone.


You do realize that the food/housing/insurance/etc is going to be taken out in loans and you will have to shoulder that debt burden once you graduate?

Cost of living may not mean much to the actual "quality of the education" you receive, but it sure matters a hell of a lot when you start looking for a job that can pay off the $100k. At that point it doesn't matter that you borrowed $40k for tuition and $60k for living expenses, what matters is that you are $100k in debt and looking for a job.

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bender18
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby bender18 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:01 pm

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Last edited by bender18 on Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby bk1 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:08 pm

Law Sauce wrote:Bk, I am honestly not challenging your authority or devaluing your opinion, but I am just wondering what experience you have to base your opinions on tls off of? I only ask because I know that you are a 0L and I am trying to figure out with what authority / how I should understand the information that you give? I am actually wondering, I am not attacking you...

caveat: it is true that as a 0L you spend a lot of time researching this, so it is not true that you can say that because you are a 0L you dont know what you are talking about, because as a 0L you are most invested in this and thus doing the most work researching it.


I am fine if you want to challenge my authority because my authority rests on the impressions I get from TLS and family/relatives who are law students/attorneys (on top of a little bit of outdated actual data). That really is anecdotal at best but it really is all I have and all most other people have.

My thought process on GW is something like this:

1. GW placed about 50% of its class into biglaw/clerkships in 2008 and about 35% of its class into biglaw/clerkships in 2009.

2. That 35% does take into account only the NLJ250, and even though there are biglaw firms outside of that, I doubt that they have a substantial base in DC.

3. On top of that, the 2009 graduates did OCI in 2007 and I expect OCI in 2012 to definitely be worse than that, especially at a lower school like GW.

4. With bimodal salary distribution, one is unlikely to get something other than biglaw or shitlaw. Yes, there midlaw does exist but it is rare. I wouldn't bank on getting midlaw. This is a pretty vague reason as most of the times it is hard to quantify how big midlaw is or how hard it is to get a job. I think it is pretty reasonable to assume that it is not very large and thus it is very hard to get, leading me to cross it out of my mind as factoring in the decision.

5. DC got hit hard, really hard. When UVa and GULC students are having trouble getting DC when they have a much easier time getting NYC, this spells trouble for a school that doesn't have much access to markets other than DC. This isn't BU/BC which have access to less competitive markets (Boston where not much of the T14 goes) and NYC (where there are tons of jobs) or Fordham (where they are primarily placing into a very large market). This is another strike against GW, and since DC is floundering more than NYC, GW is probably hit harder than other schools of similar caliber.

6. 100k is a lot of money, and I don't think that a shitlaw salary (something like 50k pre-tax) is going to be. This leaves basically biglaw and LRAP as the only options.

7. GW's LRAP sucks, like it really sucks. Entry into it is discretionary, you have to serve underrepresented clients, the amount of funding is discretionary, the amount of funding is capped at $8,000 per year, etc, etc. http://www.top-law-schools.com/tls-guid ... rsity.html In short, relying on GW's LRAP is a bad idea.

8. Because of an awful LRAP, going into government just seems like a bad idea from GW. I mean if you get it then it is okay but there is so much uncertainty in getting it and the amount it awards is so mediocre that paying off 100k in 10 years still sucks.

9. Which leads biglaw as something that you basically need if you want to pay off 100k and not be close to scraping by (to me, 14k/year loan repayments while making 50k or less is pretty rough).

10. With everything above, GW's odds at slanging someone biglaw seem decidedly low. With competitiveness in DC, the impact that market took, and everything else, coupled with GW's 35% placement in 2009 has me feeling that 30% biglaw placement would be a pretty generous outlook for 2012 OCI. Off of gut feeling, GW probably doesn't place more than 20-25% and I would be surprised if 2010 or 2011 OCI contradicts this.

With a 1/4 shot at getting into biglaw, coupled with the burden that paying back 14k/year for 10 years would be when you have a very high likelihood of ending up with something that pays around 50k, I think that GW at 100k debt still seems like a solidly mediocre decision.

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bender18
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby bender18 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:14 pm

But don't get me wrong. I understand what you're saying. It is still a risk to go to GW... even with a ~106k scholly.

And if we're going to get technical here, the scholly is worth less than that (if you're looking at present value) haha. :)

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bk1
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Re: GULC versus GW

Postby bk1 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:17 pm

bender18 wrote:You do realize that everyone's situation is different? 2/3 of the students at GW have already some work experience, meaning there is a good chance that they have money already saved up. Assuming that every person with the merit scholarship is going to be taking out another 100k in loans is wrong.

I'm merely saying that you're not paying all that money for a legal education. Which is true.

You can't just break it down and be like "XX.XX% get biglaw here, and it you will have $XX,XXX in loans once you graduate, so your decision should be XXXX." It's about OPPORTUNITY COSTS.

Furthermore, going to school in DC DOES make a difference in the quality of education/career opportunities you receive, imo.


Yes, being a school in DC basically shits on your chances to get biglaw compared to similar schools because DC is an infinitely tough mark.

Saying that it's not all for a legal education is true, but it is also irrelevant to a cost benefit analysis. The amount of debt you are going to have to repay when you graduate is paramount. This is why undergrad debt matters in picking a law school and somebody with UG debt will have a different decision process versus somebody without UG debt.

I see nothing wrong with assuming someone is going to have to pay 100k in loans unless they state otherwise. I would doubt that a significant portion of even those 2/3 that have work experience actually have enough money saved up to alter their CoA significantly enough to change the decision making process. Sure, if they had 10k or more (probably more like 20k+) then it would change things, but that it is highly unlikely. If somebody comes out and says that they have that then sure, the decision making process is different (just like UG debt), but I think it is pretty safe to assume everything is covered by either scholarships or loans unless otherwise noted.

If you are talking about opportunity costs from a strictly financial perspective then law school almost everywhere is pretty bad. Most people, even with crap ass liberal arts degrees, could work themselves up and be doing better than most newly graduating lawyers will do. If we assume that these people want to go to law school because they want to be lawyers (thus they have decided already to forego any opportunities they would otherwise have), then opportunity costs aren't really relevant to the discussion.

I actually think if you have a fairly accurate representation of employment at a given school, and you know the loan amount you would shoulder, you can say whether going to a school is a good idea or not.




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