Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

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

Which is the least terrible option?

#1. Columbia or NYU: $325,000
57
27%
#2. Duke: $225,000
50
23%
#4. UCLA: $160,000 - $195,000*
30
14%
#5. WUSTL: $150,000
7
3%
#6. UIUC: $145,000
6
3%
#7. Take a year off and reapply earlier to get better options.
42
20%
#8. Seriously, don't go to law school.
23
11%
 
Total votes: 215

adt231
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Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby adt231 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:01 pm

Help me.

Ideally, I'd like to do a big time clerkship for a year or two and then land a doj or prestigious ngo gig and then end up in academia or a judge somewhere (and I'd work at a prestigious firm for a few years if it help my chances at any of those options - which it probably would).

Back to reality, I'd like to have a life and family outside of my work so I'd like to not be stuck in biglaw for more than a few years. But I'm guessing that I will have to do biglaw for at least a little while given my debt and the other career options it opens.

Geographic preference: not really sure. I would like portability but I would much rather have a job that I don't hate and minimal debt within 5-8 years of graduation.

The amount of money listed is the amount of debt upon graduation after taking into account COA, reasonable estimates of tuition increases, my other debt, and interest on the unsubsidized loans. (you may be wondering why my debt is so high upon graduation. the reason: I will have about 75k of other debt at time of graduation of law school. pretty stupid, yea i know).

OPTIONS:
#1. Columbia or NYU: $325,000
#2. Duke: $225,000
#4. UCLA: $160,000 - $195,000*
#5. WUSTL: $150,000
#6. UIUC: $145,000

*The reason for the uncertainty about my debt after attending UCLA is partially do to the uncertainty of the tuition rises and my residency status but mainly do to the estimated level of my scholarship (since a substantial part, but less than half, is in the form of need-based aid so it cannot be guaranteed over the 3 years).

I'm currently *VERY, VERY SLIGHTLY* leaning towards UCLA assuming I can bank on the cost being below 170k. It seems to be a nice a balance job prospects and debt. The 200k+ debt range terrifies me (actually, all of these debt loads terrify me but once we push near and over a quarter of a million I really become terrified - i literally have been losing sleep about this already and I have not even accumulated any debt yet!!!). I do not want to be forced to do biglaw for long enough to pay off my debts from Columbia/NYU even though that would be the ideal school for me (given my family ties and love for NYC). Also, I cannot bank on LRAP because even if I do qualify for it, seemingly every single $ that I make will go towards my frugal COL and UG debt (meaning I'll be dirt poor until ten years after graduation).

Obviously, it boils down to: how much debt are better job prospects worth. I've been reading on this site constantly over the past few months (for situations similar to mine and general approaches to choosing law schools) and have benefited a great deal (thank you!), but would like any additional input any of you may have. Thank you in advance!

adt231
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby adt231 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:03 pm

ps. sorry for the book.

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D-ROCCA
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby D-ROCCA » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:12 pm

Soul crushing debt is soul crushing. These boards, and others, are of full of people who took out huge loans and can't foreseeably pay them off. If you already have $75k that you owe, wait and reapply and go somewhere for free, because if you end up in the bottom third and have nearly half a million in debt with interest, there's a good chance your life is going to be harsh.

IhateFoxHunting
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby IhateFoxHunting » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:15 pm

I need to open up a law school! You are obviously smart because you got into a bunch of great schools, but for the love of god are you really considering spending this much on school????

ns77770
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby ns77770 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:16 pm

tl; dr

adt231
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby adt231 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:19 pm

D-ROCCA wrote:Soul crushing debt is soul crushing. These boards, and others, are of full of people who took out huge loans and can't foreseeably pay them off. If you already have $75k that you owe, wait and reapply and go somewhere for free, because if you end up in the bottom third and have nearly half a million in debt with interest, there's a good chance your life is going to be harsh.


You are right but I've already got a few free rides, http://lawschoolnumbers.com/adt231, do you think I can get a better free ride than I've already got?

dakatz
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby dakatz » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:19 pm

You would be an absolute fool to take out a 200k loan if you already owe 75k. You should pick the best school that offers you substantial scholarship money.

adt231
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby adt231 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:20 pm

ns77770 wrote:tl; dr


?

adammac17
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby adammac17 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:20 pm

how are the coa for WUSTL and UIUC so high? i imagine you have full rides there right? 75k for col for 3yrs?!? thats seems a bit excessive, regardless of what the schools listed.

adt231
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby adt231 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:22 pm

dakatz wrote:You would be an absolute fool to take out a 200k loan if you already owe 75k. You should pick the best school that offers you substantial scholarship money.


I agree, but which do you think that is and why? I've got full-tuition schollys from UIUC and WUSTL and a near full ride (probably 75%+) at UCLA, a half-tuition scholarship at Duke, and sticker at 3 other T14. I'm still waiting on a few schools but this is probably all I can expect from this cycle.

adt231
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby adt231 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:24 pm

adammac17 wrote:how are the coa for WUSTL and UIUC so high? i imagine you have full rides there right? 75k for col for 3yrs?!? thats seems a bit excessive, regardless of what the schools listed.


WUSTL isn't exactly free-tuition (it's free the first year and then I'll have to pay the difference the next 2 years) and I estimated roughly 21k,22k,23k for the 1L,2L,3L, respectively for UIUC and WUSTL. Then I used 6.8% interest to make a conservative estimate.

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Magnolia
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby Magnolia » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:25 pm

How late in the cycle did you apply?

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gbpackerbacker
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby gbpackerbacker » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:26 pm

adt231 wrote:
ns77770 wrote:tl; dr


?


Dont mind this fool. I voted for you not to go to LS, because i don't think any of the debt options are justified y their respective school. That 325k is insane...

adt231
Posts: 241
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby adt231 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:27 pm

Magnolia wrote:How late in the cycle did you apply?


January. http://lawschoolnumbers.com/adt231

keg411
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby keg411 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:29 pm

If you applied in January, you probably have a pretty awesome GPA/LSAT combo. Don't go to law school now. Live at home and work for a couple of years to get rid of some of your undergrad debt. If you still want to go to law school later, you can and your LSAT is good for 5 years.

TheFactor
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby TheFactor » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:29 pm

keg411 wrote:If you applied in January, you probably have a pretty awesome GPA/LSAT combo. Don't go to law school now. Live at home and work for a couple of years to get rid of some of your undergrad debt. If you still want to go to law school later, you can and your LSAT is good for 5 years.

+1

2011Law
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby 2011Law » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:33 pm

The way I see it, taking any of those 6 options means that you'd need BigLaw to pay off the debt in a reasonable amount of time. Columbia and NYU put you in the best position to land BigLaw. Therefore, you should attend Columbia (sorry to be a prestige whore, but if they'll both cost the same and are in the same area (meaning roughly the same environment I assume), why not just take Columbia?).

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Magnolia
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby Magnolia » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:35 pm

adt231 wrote:
Magnolia wrote:How late in the cycle did you apply?


January. http://lawschoolnumbers.com/adt231

I would wait and reapply. Maybe even work for a while to pay down some of your UG debt. If you could get into that list of schools in January, you obviously have a strong app, so applying in Sept/Oct will likely get you in again while also giving you some other options. Applying earlier may or may not get your more scholarship money, but I think it's worth the risk to possibly lower your debt. Columbia is really the best option if you want academia, but I can't possibly recommend 325k of debt to anyone.

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well-hello-there
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby well-hello-there » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:39 pm

gbpackerbacker wrote:
adt231 wrote:
ns77770 wrote:tl; dr


?


Dont mind this fool. I voted for you not to go to LS, because i don't think any of the debt options are justified y their respective school. That 325k is insane...

columbia biglaw FTW!

It's not $325K because the first $75K doesn't count. Those are sunk costs that you've already spent and should not be a factor in your decision making process. You have to pay that money back regardless of what you do in life.

Columbia is the only sane choice here.

nickwar
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby nickwar » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:41 pm

Sounds like you have enough debt already. I'd go to the first school that would give me basically a full or close-to-full ride. That's just me, though.

$325,000 is a ridiculous amount of money to be in the hole for anybody.

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Magnolia
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby Magnolia » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:43 pm

well-hello-there wrote:
gbpackerbacker wrote:
adt231 wrote:
ns77770 wrote:tl; dr


?


Dont mind this fool. I voted for you not to go to LS, because i don't think any of the debt options are justified y their respective school. That 325k is insane...

columbia biglaw FTW!

It's not $325K because the first $75K doesn't count. Those are sunk costs that you've already spent and should not be a factor in your decision making process. You have to pay that money back regardless of what you do in life.

Columbia is the only sane choice here.

Terrible advice is terrible.

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well-hello-there
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby well-hello-there » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:45 pm

Magnolia wrote:
well-hello-there wrote:columbia biglaw FTW!

It's not $325K because the first $75K doesn't count. Those are sunk costs that you've already spent and should not be a factor in your decision making process. You have to pay that money back regardless of what you do in life.

Columbia is the only sane choice here.

Terrible advice is terrible.

clearly you don't understand cost/benefit analysis. what are you? a sociology major?

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stratocophic
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby stratocophic » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:49 pm

well-hello-there wrote:
Magnolia wrote:
well-hello-there wrote:columbia biglaw FTW!

It's not $325K because the first $75K doesn't count. Those are sunk costs that you've already spent and should not be a factor in your decision making process. You have to pay that money back regardless of what you do in life.

Columbia is the only sane choice here.

Terrible advice is terrible.

clearly you don't understand cost/benefit analysis. what are you? a sociology major?
QF-Business-major-who-took-Econ101-and-now-thinks-he-understands-economics-fail

mst
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby mst » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:49 pm

well-hello-there wrote:
Magnolia wrote:
well-hello-there wrote:columbia biglaw FTW!

It's not $325K because the first $75K doesn't count. Those are sunk costs that you've already spent and should not be a factor in your decision making process. You have to pay that money back regardless of what you do in life.

Columbia is the only sane choice here.

Terrible advice is terrible.

clearly you don't understand cost/benefit analysis. what are you? a sociology major?


What are you? Some second year business major who just learned about the term sunk-cost?

That current debt IS something to worry about. Get big-law shafted with 300k in debt and getting big-law shafted with 200k in debt is a WORLD of difference.

EDIT: damn someone beat me to it.

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Magnolia
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby Magnolia » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:50 pm

well-hello-there wrote:
Magnolia wrote:
well-hello-there wrote:columbia biglaw FTW!

It's not $325K because the first $75K doesn't count. Those are sunk costs that you've already spent and should not be a factor in your decision making process. You have to pay that money back regardless of what you do in life.

Columbia is the only sane choice here.

Terrible advice is terrible.

clearly you don't understand cost/benefit analysis.

Just because he has to pay back that money no matter what doesn't mean it shouldn't factor into his school decision. Overall debt burden is a fucking important decision and it includes ALL debt, regardless of the source.

well-hello-there wrote: what are you? a sociology major?


No, but apparently you are.




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