Seeking advice on a school decision

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

Which school?

U Penn (sticker)
13
38%
U Mich (sticker)
2
6%
Wash U ($22,000/yr scholarship)
1
3%
William and Mary (in state + $8,000 scholarship)
8
24%
Wake Forest (full scholarship, no stips + textbooks)
10
29%
 
Total votes: 34

graviolla
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:36 am

Seeking advice on a school decision

Postby graviolla » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:02 pm

Like many, I am currently in the final decision phase of the law school application process. For me, it is coming down to a T14 at sticker or a top 50 school with some level of scholarship. For a bit more background: I am interested in health law and bioethics and am not interested in Big Law. I would like to practice in the mid-Atlantic or the South .

I am leaning towards Wake Forest for several reasons:
1) small 1L section size and low student:teacher ratio
2) low COL
3) location
4) it's hard to beat free....
5) they actually have medical law courses

It feels very strange to be willing to give up the top 14. 6 months ago, I was of the "you get into a T14, you go" mindset. But I don't know that I can justify $200K+ of debt (based on the sample budgets posted on school financial aid websites) when I don't have any interest in big law and have the opportunity to attend a law school that I like for free.

Am I underestimating the payoff that going to a T14 school grants you? Am I being too debt averse? Any thoughts here would be greatly appreciated.


[Updated]
Last edited by graviolla on Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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whitman
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:08 am

Re: Seeking advice on a school decision

Postby whitman » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:03 pm

graviolla wrote:Like many, I am currently in the final decision phase of the law school application process. For me, it is coming down to a T14 at sticker or a top 50 school with some level of scholarship. For a bit more background: I am interested in health law and bioethics and am not interested in Big Law. I would like to practice in the mid-Atlantic or the South .

I am leaning towards Wake Forest for several reasons:
1) small 1L section size and low student:teacher ratio
2) low COL
3) location
4) it's hard to beat fre....
5) they actually have medical law courses

It feels very strange to be willing to give up the top 14. 6 months ago, I was of the "you get into a T14, you go" mindset. But I don't know that I can justify $250K of debt (based on the sample budgets posted on school financial aid websites) when I don't have any interest in big law and have the opportunity to attend a law school that I like for free. $250K = about $2,000/month for 40 years (according to a few debt calculators I have tried)...that's a hefty sum.

Am I underestimating the payoff that going to a T14 school grants you? Am I being too debt averse? Any thoughts here would be greatly appreciated.


Not $250,000 - $200,000

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KMaine
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:57 pm

Re: Seeking advice on a school decision

Postby KMaine » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:31 pm

I don't think you are foolish to go to Wake Forest with a full scholarship. The job you end up with may be one that does not qualify for IBR but still does not make enough to service your loans in a way that leaves you with much $. If you pretty much are willing to throw out the idea of Biglaw, I do not think you are foolish to go to Wake. Keep in mind, when viewing the results of this poll, that the people who vote for Penn and those who vote for Michigan are basically voting for the same thing (go to the t-14).

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FlightoftheEarls
Posts: 859
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:50 pm

Re: Seeking advice on a school decision

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:00 pm

It might help us if you could provide an idea as to what type of career you're interested in. Most of these schools will have plenty of classes on health law and bioethics, as well as the option to take courses through other departments (Public Policy, Med School, etc.), so the type of practice you think you're interested in would be helpful in determining which schools to suggest.

Rule11
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:25 pm

Re: Seeking advice on a school decision

Postby Rule11 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:05 pm

graviolla wrote:Like many, I am currently in the final decision phase of the law school application process. For me, it is coming down to a T14 at sticker or a top 50 school with some level of scholarship. For a bit more background: I am interested in health law and bioethics and am not interested in Big Law. I would like to practice in the mid-Atlantic or the South .

I am leaning towards Wake Forest for several reasons:
1) small 1L section size and low student:teacher ratio
2) low COL
3) location
4) it's hard to beat free....
5) they actually have medical law courses

It feels very strange to be willing to give up the top 14. 6 months ago, I was of the "you get into a T14, you go" mindset. But I don't know that I can justify $200K+ of debt (based on the sample budgets posted on school financial aid websites) when I don't have any interest in big law and have the opportunity to attend a law school that I like for free.

Am I underestimating the payoff that going to a T14 school grants you? Am I being too debt averse? Any thoughts here would be greatly appreciated.


[Updated]


Is Penn's LRAP bad?

Not sure what kind of jobs there are in health law/bioethics, but they're probably very hard to get from a school like Wake Forest. The scholarship won't help get you a job, sadly.

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rman1201
Posts: 959
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:11 pm

Re: Seeking advice on a school decision

Postby rman1201 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:09 pm

graviolla wrote:Like many, I am currently in the final decision phase of the law school application process. For me, it is coming down to a T14 at sticker or a top 50 school with some level of scholarship. For a bit more background: I am interested in health law and bioethics and am not interested in Big Law. I would like to practice in the mid-Atlantic or the South .

I am leaning towards Wake Forest for several reasons:
1) small 1L section size and low student:teacher ratio
2) low COL
3) location
4) it's hard to beat free....
5) they actually have medical law courses

It feels very strange to be willing to give up the top 14. 6 months ago, I was of the "you get into a T14, you go" mindset. But I don't know that I can justify $200K+ of debt (based on the sample budgets posted on school financial aid websites) when I don't have any interest in big law and have the opportunity to attend a law school that I like for free.

Am I underestimating the payoff that going to a T14 school grants you? Am I being too debt averse? Any thoughts here would be greatly appreciated.


[Updated]


It seems like a pretty clear answer. Penn/Mich are great schools and would offer you the best overall opportunities - but if they don't line up with your goals and you can still do what you want to do from a free (and reputable) T1 in the region you want to work, why force it an pay $200k+?




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