WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

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

Which one?

Duke (sticker)
24
20%
Michigan (sticker)
60
49%
WUSTL + full scholly
39
32%
 
Total votes: 123

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Reedie
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby Reedie » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:40 pm

romothesavior wrote:Jesus people, let's stop the bickering.


Yeah, I'm sorry about that. I just see so many of these comments on TLS about what you can and can't live on that seem so out of touch.

InvictusFortis
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby InvictusFortis » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:43 pm

JCougar wrote:
InvictusFortis wrote:
JCougar wrote:As far as living in NY or DC...given the hours you have to work and the cost of living, it makes Biglaw even less worth it out there. I'll take Chicago for the same pay any day. Market in St. Louis and Milwaukee is about $110-$125K. That kind of money will go twice as far as NYC biglaw when you realize you don't have to pay $25K/year just in rent alone for a small apartment, and another $500/month on cab fare/parking just to get around. Not to mention the taxes are lower.


I've done the numbers. Big law @ 160k in NY (including state, city, and federal taxes) brings you to a net of ~$98,000, if you are unable to write anything off. If I had to choose between living in Milwaukee at $118,000 minus taxes and Manhattan at roughly $98,000...Call me crazy but, I'd choose Manhattan.

Even in the face of 160,000 debt. I know people who live a comfortable lifestyle at a salary of $60,000 minus taxes, and that is living in the city.


Are you factoring in the fact that your rent will be three times the cost in Manhattan and transportation/parking will be miserable?

I'm not saying that NYC sucks...because there's plenty of fun to be had there. But you have to subtract another $15K at least from that $98K for rent above and beyond what you'd pay anywhere else, and probably another $5K for parking and cab fares, plus another $15K for just making the minimum payments on $200K of loans. So you're down to $63K already, and that's not even considering all your rent. It's a decent living, but it's not exactly livin' large.


It's hands down "not livin' large." But, private sector salaries are also subject to year-end bonuses and yearly pay increases. So, if you have the will to maintain your lifestyle as your income rises, you can pay your debt down fairly quickly.

Personally, I won't be parking and don't mind public transportation at all. The cost of having a car a car payment(plus gas, insurance, maintence, tires, etc) comes out equal to, if not more than, public transportation.
Last edited by InvictusFortis on Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fatduck
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby fatduck » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:46 pm

InvictusFortis wrote:
JCougar wrote:
InvictusFortis wrote:
JCougar wrote:As far as living in NY or DC...given the hours you have to work and the cost of living, it makes Biglaw even less worth it out there. I'll take Chicago for the same pay any day. Market in St. Louis and Milwaukee is about $110-$125K. That kind of money will go twice as far as NYC biglaw when you realize you don't have to pay $25K/year just in rent alone for a small apartment, and another $500/month on cab fare/parking just to get around. Not to mention the taxes are lower.


I've done the numbers. Big law @ 160k in NY (including state, city, and federal taxes) brings you to a net of ~$98,000, if you are unable to write anything off. If I had to choose between living in Milwaukee at $118,000 minus taxes and Manhattan at roughly $98,000...Call me crazy but, I'd choose Manhattan.

Even in the face of 160,000 debt. I know people who live a comfortable lifestyle at a salary of $60,000 minus taxes, and that is living in the city.


Are you factoring in the fact that your rent will be three times the cost in Manhattan and transportation/parking will be miserable?

I'm not saying that NYC sucks...because there's plenty of fun to be had there. But you have to subtract another $15K at least from that $98K for rent above and beyond what you'd pay anywhere else, and probably another $5K for parking and cab fares, plus another $15K for just making the minimum payments on $200K of loans. So you're down to $63K already, and that's not even considering all your rent. It's a decent living, but it's not exactly livin' large.


It's hands down "not livin' large." But, private sector salaries are also subject to year-end bonuses and yearly pay increases. So, if you have the will to maintain your lifestyle as your income rises, you can pay your debt down fairly quickly.


btw i would kill someone to live in manhattan with $60k disposable income after taxes/rent/loans/transpo

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romothesavior
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby romothesavior » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:47 pm

Reedie wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Jesus people, let's stop the bickering.


Yeah, I'm sorry about that. I just see so many of these comments on TLS about what you can and can't live on that seem so out of touch.

TBF, my girlfriend makes 15-20k per year and lives in one of the cheapest little towns imaginable, and she has trouble making ends meet with her car payments, rent, loan repayment, etc. And she lives pretty modestly. So I find it highly suspicious that you did it on that much in LA, but w/e.

In any case, 80-100k in the Midwest is probably 200k+ in Manhattan. To each his own, but I'd rather make 80-100k in Indianapolis or STL or Milwaukee than 160k in NYC, and if I have to take a crappy job paying 40k-50k, I'd rather pay that much in a mid-sized MW city than NYC. I'm paying $500 a month for an apartment that would cost me $1500-2000 in a decent neighborhood in NYC. Again, to each his own, but let's not pretend that your money will take you anywhere near as far in NYC as it would elsewhere.

But why are we even arguing about this? This seems irrelevant to the OP's question. I really think OP needs to decide exactly what it is she wants (namely, where she wants to work and just how badly she wants biglaw). That full scholly at WUSTL is enticing to me, as I think keeping debt low is so key ITE, but I realize I am biased by my own career goals.

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Reedie
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby Reedie » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:49 pm

romothesavior wrote:TBF, my girlfriend makes 15-20k per year and lives in one of the cheapest little towns imaginable, and she has trouble making ends meet with her car payments, rent, loan repayment, etc.


I wouldn't say I was comfortable, but I got by. No loan repayment though, and I suspect that's the difference maker. I was a grad student in a PhD. program, so my money was finaid/TA. A couple of years I was under 20, a couple I was slightly over, but right about there the whole time.

Now, I'm not recommending it in the slightest. 20k in Los Angeles is rough. But 70-80k as difficult?I have trouble seeing that.

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quadsixm
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby quadsixm » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:56 pm

Reedie wrote:Take home on 70-80k, lets say 3000/month. That's a conservative estimate.
Rent: 1000 a month. That's not a super conservative estimate, but is totally doable on the westside. With roommate it can be less. Without roommate it might go up a bit if you don't work to find a good apartment.
Utilities: No need for heat or AC on the westside, so electricity ought not to be too much. 200 a month should cover it with internet, easily.
Food: Groceries should be coverable by 200 bucks a month easily.
Car payment+insurance+gas: 500 a month should be more than enough.
So that means, that rent+food+car=2 grand a month.
That leaves you a thousand dollars a month to buy clothing, electronics, go out to eat, etc as you see fit. That isn't enough? And all of this is based on super conservative estimates.


My take home was rarely $3k/month. It was usually closer to $2800. That's after maxing out the 8% 401(k) match, which was around $500/month. Yes, I do consider saving for retirement a necessity - to spend all of your take-home salary each month is really irresponsible and is just digging yourself a hole.

You forgot some other things - iPhone bill - $100/month, Gym Membership $35/month, Renter's insurance $20/month.

I didn't necessarily have time to cook dinner with the hours I was working (and neither would a biglaw associate) so I was looking at a food bill more like $450/month (due to take-out at least 3 nights/week).

Not to mention, my commute was 1 hour each way w/traffic, so the gas bill was > 100/month. My car was old, so maintenance was quite expensive as well.

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Reedie
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby Reedie » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:05 pm

quadsixm wrote: iPhone bill - $100/month, Gym Membership $35/month, Renter's insurance $20/month.


I see. If you consider maxing your 401(k), gym membership, iphone and renter's insurance (I had none of these) necessities, then maybe it makes more sense.

Edit: And I'd like to add, my point here isn't that you suck with money or something like that. My point is that when telling people what they need to get by, if you are suggesting that an income that's well above average for the area you are talking about is super difficult, then you probably are including lots of expenses that aren't--strictly speaking--necessary. What's enough depends on how you want to live, and I can certainly understanding wanting to live well.

Edit: one more, addition, to get a sense of what people living on the westside *actually* make, here is the data for the neighborhood I lived in (Sawtelle) http://projects.latimes.com/mapping-la/neighborhoods/neighborhood/sawtelle/. Remember, this is household income so this is sometimes the income for a single person and sometimes the combined income of two or more wage earners.

Edit: I admit to feeling a bit like an asshole for doing this, but I did the math. Including state and federal income tax, and 6000 for 401(k) your monthly takehome should have been 4426.83. Now, it's totally legitimate for you to not want to go into more detail here, about where your money was going, or whatever. Maybe I used the online tools wrong. But color me skeptical.

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JCougar
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby JCougar » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:38 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
InvictusFortis wrote:I've done the numbers. Big law @ 160k in NY (including state, city, and federal taxes) brings you to a net of ~$98,000, if you are unable to write anything off. If I had to choose between living in Milwaukee at $118,000 minus taxes and Manhattan at roughly $98,000...Call me crazy but, I'd choose Manhattan.

Even in the face of 160,000 debt. I know people who live a comfortable lifestyle at a salary of $60,000 minus taxes, and that is living in the city.


Also, how many jobs in Milwaukee pay 118,000$? A LOT LESS than those that pay 160k in NYC. I love the assumptions that people have choice between 160k in NYC and 120k in a secondary market. These jobs are fewer and often more competitive.

Also, random, but midlaw does not automatically = better work/life balance.


There's 5 NLJ 250 firms in Milwaukee and all pay at least $110K/year. But demand for these jobs is considerably lower because Milwaukee doesn't have the "prestige" of NYC. It's not impossible to work at these places. The grade cutoffs are about the same as the Chicago firms.

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Verity
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby Verity » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:11 pm

JCougar wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:
InvictusFortis wrote:I've done the numbers. Big law @ 160k in NY (including state, city, and federal taxes) brings you to a net of ~$98,000, if you are unable to write anything off. If I had to choose between living in Milwaukee at $118,000 minus taxes and Manhattan at roughly $98,000...Call me crazy but, I'd choose Manhattan.

Even in the face of 160,000 debt. I know people who live a comfortable lifestyle at a salary of $60,000 minus taxes, and that is living in the city.


Also, how many jobs in Milwaukee pay 118,000$? A LOT LESS than those that pay 160k in NYC. I love the assumptions that people have choice between 160k in NYC and 120k in a secondary market. These jobs are fewer and often more competitive.

Also, random, but midlaw does not automatically = better work/life balance.


There's 5 NLJ 250 firms in Milwaukee and all pay at least $110K/year. But demand for these jobs is considerably lower because Milwaukee doesn't have the "prestige" of NYC. It's not impossible to work at these places. The grade cutoffs are about the same as the Chicago firms.


In fact, isn't Milwaukee an Indian name?

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JCougar
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby JCougar » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:11 pm

fatduck wrote:
JCougar wrote:
InvictusFortis wrote:
JCougar wrote:As far as living in NY or DC...given the hours you have to work and the cost of living, it makes Biglaw even less worth it out there. I'll take Chicago for the same pay any day. Market in St. Louis and Milwaukee is about $110-$125K. That kind of money will go twice as far as NYC biglaw when you realize you don't have to pay $25K/year just in rent alone for a small apartment, and another $500/month on cab fare/parking just to get around. Not to mention the taxes are lower.


I've done the numbers. Big law @ 160k in NY (including state, city, and federal taxes) brings you to a net of ~$98,000, if you are unable to write anything off. If I had to choose between living in Milwaukee at $118,000 minus taxes and Manhattan at roughly $98,000...Call me crazy but, I'd choose Manhattan.

Even in the face of 160,000 debt. I know people who live a comfortable lifestyle at a salary of $60,000 minus taxes, and that is living in the city.


Are you factoring in the fact that your rent will be three times the cost in Manhattan and transportation/parking will be miserable?

I'm not saying that NYC sucks...because there's plenty of fun to be had there. But you have to subtract another $15K at least from that $98K for rent above and beyond what you'd pay anywhere else, and probably another $5K for parking and cab fares, plus another $15K for just making the minimum payments on $200K of loans. So you're down to $63K already, and that's not even considering all your rent. It's a decent living, but it's not exactly livin' large.


btw i would kill someone to live in manhattan with $60k disposable income after taxes/rent/loans/transpo


60K is not what you would make after all that. First of all, I only factored in the cost of rent above and beyond what you'd pay anywhere else. You can add another $13K for how much rent would cost baseline. Now you're down to $50K. Second of all, I only factored in minimum loan repayment...which means it would take you 25 years to pay off loans at that rate. If you want to pay off your loans in 10 years instead (which you'll want to do because there's a 90% chance you won't last more than 7 years in Biglaw), factor in another $15K, and you're down to $35K. You'll be working 6 days a week at 50 weeks per year and you'll have to get lunch each day, and in NYC, lunch is at least $10/day, so that's another $3K just on lunch. So you're down to $32K. Dry cleaning and a wardrobe will bring you down to $28K.

Now you have to consider car payments. I only factored in parking costs in my analysis above because it's above and beyond what you'd have to pay in a medium-sized city. But car payments along with insurance (which is really high in NYC) is going to be at least $5K for a reasonably priced car. And gas will be another $2K so you're down to $21K.

And we haven't even gotten into utilities, phone bills, parking tickets, groceries for dinner and the weekends, etc, and you're soon down another $6K bringing you down to a solid $15K.

That gives you a bit over a grand per month to go out to the theater or bars (which will cost you a pretty penny in NYC when Heineken are $8 and Budweisers are $6...plus you gotta leave a dollar tip, and you probably have to pay at least a $10 cover), take a vacation, save for retirement, buy a TV or furniture, car repairs, etc.

Of course, you could be thrifty and take the subway and not buy a car and live in one of the up and coming areas of Harlem, take a bagged lunch to work, but that's not really livin' large. And that's not considering the raises and bonuses you get each year. But that's also not considering the fact that you may want to ditch Biglaw well before the 5-year mark; it's also not considering that NYC firms are notorious for working their associates to death compared to other areas, and that's still considering the fact that you're paying your loans off in 10 years...you may want to be even more aggressive than that.

And that's only considering renting. If you want to buy a house, it's a totally different story, and your costs will go WAY up even from there...especially relatively speaking comparing NYC to a Midwestern city. I have a friend working in DC who gave up on house shopping because he couldn't find anything decent for less than $500,000. NYC has to be just as bad, if not worse. $500,000 is three grand per month before you even consider 1) property taxes, 2) insurance, and 3) homeowners association fees, if there are any. That works out to be close to $50K/year once you add all those things in.

czelede
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby czelede » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:26 pm

OP, I think this all comes down to what you're comfortable with, debt wise. Some people will take T10 at sticker over any other school at any other scholarship. Some people draw this line at T6. Some at HYS. One of my relatives turned down Duke at full scholarship to attend NYU at sticker. It's a very personal decision, and at the end of the day it's your money, your three years, and your J.D.

I would personally take T10. While WUSTL may certainly give you a shot at biglaw - and people are quoting the 25% to 50% figures all over this thread - consider the following:

1. WUSTL is much stronger in the midwest than East Coast. This means that, assuming you aren't in the top ~10% or so that can get biglaw anywhere, your best shot is in Chicago.

2. The Chicago market, in comparison to the opportunities in NYC, DC, and Philadelphia (assuming you have ties) combined, sucks. There are just more jobs out east, period. Big law, mid law, shit law.

seriously????
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby seriously???? » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:45 pm

if there are other new yorkers who are out there who think I am wrong, please feel free to correct me.
but if one's goal is to go to new york and be a baller, 160K is not enough. now, when people say that 160 K is equivalent to 80k in denver or 100K in milwaukee or whatever, I am not sure that adds up (unless you are fully content with an outdoor recreational lifestyle, which most likely means you are less likely to be interested in biglaw). You can definitely live modestly in new york and save with that pay check. I might be stereotyping, but I get a feeling that most of us guys want the big pay check to appeal to the opposite sex. If you are in manhattan though,and solely expect to get ass based on that salary, u are in for a rude awakening. 160k will only make you stew, and tell your colleagues, I can't wait till I make a million so I can get some.

Anyway, for the OP, if you are fully committed to a long stay (5 years or more) in biglaw go with a T14. If not, take a gamble at WUSTL. But Radlaw is right, there is prolly a middle ground between michigan and WUSTL.

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NU_Jet55
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby NU_Jet55 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:14 am

czelede wrote:One of my relatives turned down Duke at full scholarship to attend NYU at sticker.


I have dumb relatives too.

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Verity
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby Verity » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:32 am

NU_Jet55 wrote:
czelede wrote:One of my relatives turned down Duke at full scholarship to attend NYU at sticker.


I have dumb relatives too.


Not dumb if you're a Manhattan whore gunning for S&C.

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Verity
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Re: WUSTL + full scholly vs. Michigan vs. Duke, both sticker

Postby Verity » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:40 am

Found something that, while it's about the WUSTL class of 2009 (which wasn't such a hot year for grads), might provide a shred of insight:

http://autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=1307833&forum_id=2&PHPSESSID=0c96468b0f2f7cd52ba0cb32b64983e9#14952611

I thought I'd see where the Class of 2009 landed, job-wise. Here's the results so far for the Vault 15.

Wachtell: 0
Cravath: 0
Skadden: 0
SullCrom: 0
DPW: 0
Weil: 0
STB: 1 (Palo Alto)
Cleary: 0
Covington: 0
Kirkland: 3 (2 CHI, 1 NYC)
W&C: 0
Debevoise: 0
Paul Weiss: 2 (NYC)
GDC: 0
Sidley: 1 (NYC)

VAULT 15 SUBTOTAL: 7 (2.5% of the graduating class)

WilmerHale: 0
Latham: 2 (CHI, LA)
A&P: 0
Jones Day: 0
White & Case: 0
Shearman: 0
OMM: 0
Quinn: 0
Ropes: 2 (Boston, NYC)
Hogan Lovells: 0

VAULT 25 SUBTOTAL: 11 (4.1% of the graduating class)

Clifford Chance: 0*
MoFo: 0
Mayer Brown: 0
Linklaters: 0*
Boies: 0
Milbank: 0
Paul Hastings: 0
Akin Gump: 1 (Houston)
Fried Frank: 0
Winston: 1 (CHI)

VAULT 35 SUBTOTAL: 13 (4.8% of the graduating class)

Allen & Overy: 0*
Willkie Farr: 0
Freshfields: 0*
Baker Botts: 0
MTO: 0
Orrick: 0
Baker McKenzie: 1 (CHI)
Goodwin Procter: 1 (Boston)
ENJOYING DLA PIPER: 0
King & Spalding: 2 (DC)
Jenner: 0*
Dewey: 0
Proskauer: 2 (1 Boston, 1 LA)
V&E: 0
Irell: 0

VAULT 50 SUBTOTAL: 19 (7.0% of the graduating class)

Fulbright: 0
Wilson Sonsini: 0*
MLB: 0
MWE: 2 (1 CHI, 1 DC)
Alston & Bird: 1 (Atlanta)
Bingham: 0
Fish: 0
Dechert: 0
GT: 0
Cadwalader: 1 (NYC)

VAULT 60 SUBTOTAL: 23 (8.5% of the graduating class)

Cooley: 1 (Palo Alto)
Pillsbury: 1 (LA)
Sonnenschein: 2* (1 Kansas City, 1 NYC)
Cahill: 1 (NYC)
Holland: 0
K&L Gates: 0
Nixon Peabody: 0*
Foley: 0
Kaye Scholer: 0
Steptoe: 0

VAULT 70 SUBTOTAL: 28 (10.4% of the graduating class)

Reed Smith: 1* (CHI)
Bryan Cave: 4 (St. Louis)
Perkins Coie: 0
Hunton: 0
Patton Boggs: 0
Arent Fox: 0*
Schulte: 1 (NYC)
Howrey: 0
Chadborne: 0
Crowell: 0

VAULT 80 SUBTOTAL: 34 (12.6% of the graduating class)

---

Thompson Coburn: 2 (St. Louis)
Armstrong Teasdale: 1* (St. Louis)
Husch: 5 (4 St. Louis, 1 Springfield)

---

CLERKSHIPS

COA (3): Hamilton (7th), Shepherd (8th), Ebel (10th)
DCT (4): Ontero (CDCal), McDade (CDIll), Hamilton (SDInd), McCalla (WDTenn)
Article I (1): Baker (Armed Forces)
ST SUPREME (1): Rucker (Ind)
ST LOWER (1): Hunt (WA Ct App)




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