Tuition - How much is too much?

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LoyalRebel
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Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby LoyalRebel » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:09 am

Here's what I've got to work with:

157 LSAT (I took it cold-turkey, without studying. That's not an excuse, I just feel confident that if I am accepted into a tough program, I could perform well)
3.7 GPA
(soon to have) Degree from a Top 20 ranked Accounting Program.
Pretty decent life story to work with on my personal statement.

I've applied to about 6 or 7 schools, from "reach" schools to safety schools. Within that spectrum lie SMU and Baylor - two schools that cost about 40,000 a year in tuition, not to mention high cost of living (for SMU in particular). They're also both nationally ranked, and I believe SMU is tier one.

Also on my list was Ole Miss: my current university and in my home state. Not exactly a heavy hitter, but a very solid school with an excellent in-state reputation. Also extremely cheap (just upwards of 10k a year). I also have good connections within Mississippi.

I have already been accepted to the two schools I've heard back from so far (Ole Miss and Texas Tech). Texas Tech gave me a pretty attractive scholarship and Ole Miss is cheap to begin with. While I've yet to hear back from my pricier selections, I wanted to give this some thought early.

What should I be willing to invest in my legal education? I do not come from money and I've been financing my entire undergrad on my own so I've already got some debt. While I'd much rather go somewhere like SMU, I don't want to over invest in this. The job prospects are obviously better with SMU or Baylor, they come at over 4 times the cost.

I know a big thing is the state I want to live in, but honestly I want to live wherever I am in the best position to be successful. So where do I draw the line on tuition?

*edited: typo*
Last edited by LoyalRebel on Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Knock
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby Knock » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:13 am

LoyalRebel wrote:Here's what I've got to work with:

157 LSAT (I took it cold-turkey, without studying. That's not an excuse, I just feel confident that if I am accepted into a tough program, I could perform well)
6.7 GPA
(soon to have) Degree from a Top 20 ranked Accounting Program.
Pretty decent life story to work with on my personal statement.

I've applied to about 6 or 7 schools, from "reach" schools to safety schools. Within that spectrum lie SMU and Baylor - two schools that cost about 40,000 a year in tuition, not to mention high cost of living (for SMU in particular). They're also both nationally ranked, and I believe SMU is tier one.

Also on my list was Ole Miss: my current university and in my home state. Not exactly a heavy hitter, but a very solid school with an excellent in-state reputation. Also extremely cheap (just upwards of 10k a year). I also have good connections within Mississippi.

I have already been accepted to the two schools I've heard back from so far (Ole Miss and Texas Tech). Texas Tech gave me a pretty attractive scholarship and Ole Miss is cheap to begin with. While I've yet to hear back from my pricier selections, I wanted to give this some thought early.

What should I be willing to invest in my legal education? I do not come from money and I've been financing my entire undergrad on my own so I've already got some debt. While I'd much rather go somewhere like SMU, I don't want to over invest in this. The job prospects are obviously better with SMU or Baylor, they come at over 4 times the cost.

I know a big thing is the state I want to live in, but honestly I want to live wherever I am in the best position to be successful. So where do I draw the line on tuition?


6.7 GPA?

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kwais
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby kwais » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:13 am

6.7 GPA should get you $$ at MVP

LoyalRebel
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby LoyalRebel » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:15 am

Erm I meant 3.7. heh. :oops:

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fatduck
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby fatduck » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:16 am

i know we're not supposed to say this but retake

you can do so much better on the lsat and you will have a billion more options with your decent gpa. you could go to UT instead of SMU. you could get $$ and go somewhere for free. study and retake.

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AreJay711
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:17 am

Knock wrote:6.7 GPA?


LSP has him in everywhere.

OP, it really depends on what you want. If you would be happy at a small firm not really raking it in then I'd say go to the cheapest one where you want to live. I think this is a hard thing to gauge for another person because we don't know how bad you want to be a lawyer or how important it is for you to be at a prestigious firm.

Edit: You really should retake OP.

LoyalRebel
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby LoyalRebel » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:25 am

fatduck wrote:i know we're not supposed to say this but retake

you can do so much better on the lsat and you will have a billion more options with your decent gpa. you could go to UT instead of SMU. you could get $$ and go somewhere for free. study and retake.


Thought about it, but that will delay my admission an entire semester (at least). And is a 160 really that much better than a 157? Plus if I go to Ole Miss I expect to be top in the 10-15% and I could probably line up some good internships within the state. I'm also doing a full time Accounting Internship in Dallas right now. Does anyone think all this will generate enough pull to get me noticed anywhere decent?

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Knock
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby Knock » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:26 am

LoyalRebel wrote:
fatduck wrote:i know we're not supposed to say this but retake

you can do so much better on the lsat and you will have a billion more options with your decent gpa. you could go to UT instead of SMU. you could get $$ and go somewhere for free. study and retake.


Thought about it, but that will delay my admission an entire semester (at least). And is a 160 really that much better than a 157? Plus if I go to Ole Miss I expect to be top in the 10-15% and I could probably line up some good internships within the state. I'm also doing a full time Accounting Internship in Dallas right now. Does anyone think all this will generate enough pull to get me noticed anywhere decent?


You can up your score pretty significantly I bet if you study hard. It's definitely worth taking a cycle off if you can get a score low or mid 160's. Don't ever go into law school expecting to be in the top 10-15%. You could end up anywhere in the class.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby DoubleChecks » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:27 am

LoyalRebel wrote:
fatduck wrote:i know we're not supposed to say this but retake

you can do so much better on the lsat and you will have a billion more options with your decent gpa. you could go to UT instead of SMU. you could get $$ and go somewhere for free. study and retake.


Thought about it, but that will delay my admission an entire semester (at least). And is a 160 really that much better than a 157? Plus if I go to Ole Miss I expect to be top in the 10-15% and I could probably line up some good internships within the state. I'm also doing a full time Accounting Internship in Dallas right now. Does anyone think all this will generate enough pull to get me noticed anywhere decent?


id stick to the accounting job. im kinda being serious lol. even if you go to ole miss, almost everyone on this forum will tell you (rightly so) that you should never expect to be at the top of your class. and why do you say you could probably line up some good internships? certain strong ties and connections you have going in? that may help and change my tune, if you have a legal job set up before even starting law school.

jeremysen
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby jeremysen » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:35 am

I know plenty of people who have raised their scores from 15X to 165+. Many of them have full scholarships at T30 schools. Some of them also have sub-3.2 GPAs.

Would really advise you to retake if you can - a 165 would make an enormous difference.

LoyalRebel
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby LoyalRebel » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:38 am

jeremysen wrote:I know plenty of people who have raised their scores from 15X to 165+. Many of them have full scholarships at T30 schools. Some of them also have sub-3.2 GPAs.

Would really advise you to retake if you can - a 165 would make an enormous difference.


I feel that's overly optimistic, and that a 161 would be on the high end of realistic. But fair enough... But disregarding the idea of retaking, is 40k a year worth it for SMU?

LoyalRebel
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby LoyalRebel » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:45 am

DoubleChecks wrote:
LoyalRebel wrote:
fatduck wrote:i know we're not supposed to say this but retake

you can do so much better on the lsat and you will have a billion more options with your decent gpa. you could go to UT instead of SMU. you could get $$ and go somewhere for free. study and retake.


Thought about it, but that will delay my admission an entire semester (at least). And is a 160 really that much better than a 157? Plus if I go to Ole Miss I expect to be top in the 10-15% and I could probably line up some good internships within the state. I'm also doing a full time Accounting Internship in Dallas right now. Does anyone think all this will generate enough pull to get me noticed anywhere decent?


id stick to the accounting job. im kinda being serious lol. even if you go to ole miss, almost everyone on this forum will tell you (rightly so) that you should never expect to be at the top of your class. and why do you say you could probably line up some good internships? certain strong ties and connections you have going in? that may help and change my tune, if you have a legal job set up before even starting law school.


I don't really care for accounting, and I feel I'm better with language than numbers. And you're right, I shouldn't project my class rank, I just feel my work ethic makes up for a lot. But I do realize Law School is in an league of its own when it comes to cognitive ability of classmates.

I have had the opportunity to meet with some of the state's heavy hitters through family connections, including one guy who was named one of the top 50 attorneys in the nation by a pretty official sounding magazine. He told me I should get an accounting degree and JD from Ole Miss, then try to get into Florida's Tax LLM. So far I've been following his advice with trying to create a tax niche (which I hear is in higher demand than a lot of areas of law), but I'd love to avoid having to get the LLM by getting a great job offer right out of college. :D

I don't have internships lined up yet, but I think I could get something worked out with a reputable firm.

jeremysen
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby jeremysen » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:45 am

A lower score, like the 157 you have, has incrementally greater benefit from just a few points improvement.

To illustrate this, if you raised the 157 by 3 points - that's potentially only 4 problems, you end up raising your percentile from 70.9% to 80.4%!

So...
157 to 160 --> ~4 problems --> 70.9% to 80.4% (+9.5%)
157 to 163 --> ~9 problems --> 70.9% to 88.1% (+17.2%)
157 to 165 --> ~12 problems --> 70.9% to 92.0% (+21.1%)


When speaking about schools, getting a 165 would put you in a good position for T25.

LoyalRebel
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby LoyalRebel » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:48 am

jeremysen wrote:A lower score, like the 157 you have, has incrementally greater benefit from just a few points improvement.

To illustrate this, if you raised the 157 by 3 points - that's potentially only 4 problems, you end up raising your percentile from 70.9% to 80.4%!

So...
157 to 160 --> ~4 problems --> 70.9% to 80.4% (+9.5%)
157 to 163 --> ~9 problems --> 70.9% to 88.1% (+17.2%)
157 to 165 --> ~12 problems --> 70.9% to 92.0% (+21.1%)


When speaking about schools, getting a 165 would put you in a good position for T25.


I am aware of this, and have given it some thought, but I'd like to continue this discussion under the assumption that I will not be retaking.

jeremysen
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby jeremysen » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:55 am

LoyalRebel wrote:
jeremysen wrote:I know plenty of people who have raised their scores from 15X to 165+. Many of them have full scholarships at T30 schools. Some of them also have sub-3.2 GPAs.

Would really advise you to retake if you can - a 165 would make an enormous difference.


I feel that's overly optimistic, and that a 161 would be on the high end of realistic. But fair enough... But disregarding the idea of retaking, is 40k a year worth it for SMU?


SMU has a great law rep in Texas, but (others please comment as well) I would never pay 40k for a legal education outside of T10 in this legal environment...

It's a preference thing on my part to be risk averse - let's say you end up performing median at SMU and you are in ~120k tuition + ~60k COL + your ugrad debt. You would likely end up working for 60k/yr, and I don't think it's worth it, considering that you're probably making something comparable as an accountant.

If I were in your shoes, I'd try to work 2-3 years in tax or whatever and at some point retake (since you have a lot of flexibility). With a higher LSAT, your already high GPA, And WE, you stand a great shot at $$$ SMU.

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Grizz
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby Grizz » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:00 am

LoyalRebel wrote:I am aware of this, and have given it some thought, but I'd like to continue this discussion under the assumption that I will not be retaking.


Then you're gonna get a bunch of terrible advice.

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romothesavior
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:07 am

rad law wrote:
LoyalRebel wrote:I am aware of this, and have given it some thought, but I'd like to continue this discussion under the assumption that I will not be retaking.


Then you're gonna get a bunch of terrible advice.

But dood, he's gonna finish in the top 10-15%. You gotta keep that in mind. He's not planning to get bad grades.

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Grizz
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby Grizz » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:09 am

romothesavior wrote:
rad law wrote:
LoyalRebel wrote:I am aware of this, and have given it some thought, but I'd like to continue this discussion under the assumption that I will not be retaking.


Then you're gonna get a bunch of terrible advice.

But dood, he's gonna finish in the top 10-15%. You gotta keep that in mind. He's not planning to get bad grades.


Oh man, I didn't read that! Retract all previous comments.

LoyalRebel
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby LoyalRebel » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:10 am

jeremysen wrote:
LoyalRebel wrote:
jeremysen wrote:I know plenty of people who have raised their scores from 15X to 165+. Many of them have full scholarships at T30 schools. Some of them also have sub-3.2 GPAs.

Would really advise you to retake if you can - a 165 would make an enormous difference.


I feel that's overly optimistic, and that a 161 would be on the high end of realistic. But fair enough... But disregarding the idea of retaking, is 40k a year worth it for SMU?


SMU has a great law rep in Texas, but (others please comment as well) I would never pay 40k for a legal education outside of T10 in this legal environment...

It's a preference thing on my part to be risk averse - let's say you end up performing median at SMU and you are in ~120k tuition + ~60k COL + your ugrad debt. You would likely end up working for 60k/yr, and I don't think it's worth it, considering that you're probably making something comparable as an accountant.

If I were in your shoes, I'd try to work 2-3 years in tax or whatever and at some point retake (since you have a lot of flexibility). With a higher LSAT, your already high GPA, And WE, you stand a great shot at $$$ SMU.


If that 60k a year figure is accurate for a median grad from SMU, I definitely won't forking out the tuition for it.

Then you're gonna get a bunch of terrible advice.


There's more to the practice of law than an LSAT score. I am aware that my score gets frowned upon around here (although 71% of the population would say I did a pretty damn good job on it) but the retake discussion is a different conversation entirely.

LoyalRebel
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby LoyalRebel » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:11 am

romothesavior wrote:
rad law wrote:
LoyalRebel wrote:I am aware of this, and have given it some thought, but I'd like to continue this discussion under the assumption that I will not be retaking.


Then you're gonna get a bunch of terrible advice.

But dood, he's gonna finish in the top 10-15%. You gotta keep that in mind. He's not planning to get bad grades.


Wow man, seriously? Way to be a doucher.

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romothesavior
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:13 am

LoyalRebel wrote:
romothesavior wrote:But dood, he's gonna finish in the top 10-15%. You gotta keep that in mind. He's not planning to get bad grades.


Wow man, seriously? Way to be a doucher.

You're the one predicting (even assuming) top 10% grades, not me.

LoyalRebel
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby LoyalRebel » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:14 am

romothesavior wrote:
LoyalRebel wrote:
romothesavior wrote:But dood, he's gonna finish in the top 10-15%. You gotta keep that in mind. He's not planning to get bad grades.


Wow man, seriously? Way to be a doucher.

You're the one predicting (even assuming) top 10% grades, not me.

What's wrong with that?

paulinaporizkova
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby paulinaporizkova » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:15 am

LoyalRebel wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
LoyalRebel wrote:
romothesavior wrote:But dood, he's gonna finish in the top 10-15%. You gotta keep that in mind. He's not planning to get bad grades.


Wow man, seriously? Way to be a doucher.

You're the one predicting (even assuming) top 10% grades, not me.

What's wrong with that?


OH NOW YOU'RE GETTIN IT

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Grizz
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby Grizz » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:15 am

LoyalRebel wrote:
Then you're gonna get a bunch of terrible advice.


There's more to the practice of law than an LSAT score. I am aware that my score gets frowned upon around here (although 71% of the population would say I did a pretty damn good job on it) but the retake discussion is a different conversation entirely.


Yeah but your LSAT score determines where you can go to law school, which is very important for where you can get a job later bro

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jpSartre
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Re: Tuition - How much is too much?

Postby jpSartre » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:15 am

Any debt you take on will be too much




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