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

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

Postby mst » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:50 pm

well-hello-there wrote:I am astounded by the large numbers of financially illiterate posters here. Did you all major in pre-law?


Nope.

You assume this guy is for sure going to graduate, get big-law, manage to keep that gig without getting screwed by a recession or the firm going under, etc. for at least 10-15 years. That's not a small request. What if he ends up hating big-law? What if he's... get this... HUMAN and not the manager of your imaginary theoretical company? So he has to LIVE with that debt on his shoulders... not on some balance sheet that he checks in the monthly board meetings. And that's debt he has to carry on as he tries to get married, raise a family, buy a house, etc. Would you be disinclined to marry somebody at age 30 who still has that ridiculous debt to pay off while he's most likely to be making a relatively low salary compared to big-law after he shuffles off to mid-law once he doesn't get partner (which is VERY realistic)? Many people would be. Then you have the depression of that debt. Then you have the monthly payments early on which will eclipse that of any of your peers so that when they are going out or going on trips you're going to have to decline. The list is endless.

Just take the Duke offer OP. It would probably be a decent option regardless of your current debt. When you consider the extra debt it's the safest, most realistic option.

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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 11:51 pm

adt231 wrote:it boils down to: how much debt are better job prospects worth.

Easily $250K.

You can be at the median at columbia and are guaranteed big law. If you don't want big law, no bother, you can work anywhere in the country making $100K+ as a columbia grad.

The $75K that you already owe is a sunk cost and should not be factored into your decision making process.

wikipedia wrote: In economics and business decision-making, sunk costs are retrospective (past) costs that have already been incurred and cannot be recovered.....Evidence from behavioral economics suggests this theory fails to predict real-world behavior. Sunk costs greatly affect actors' decisions, because many humans are loss-averse and thus normally act irrationally when making economic decisions.....Sunk costs should not affect the rational decision-maker's best choice.

If you consider the $75K in your decision making process, you are acting irrationally.

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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 11:54 pm

mst wrote:You assume this guy is for sure going to graduate, get big-law, manage to keep that gig without getting screwed by a recession or the firm going under,

if he goes to columbia, it is not an assumption

and he only need work biglaw for maybe 6 years to pay off ALL his debt.

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

Postby sarahlawg » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:56 pm

well-hello-there wrote:If you choose to work now to pay off your debt rather than pay it off as a Columbia Law graduate, you will undoubtedly have a much harder time. Columbia grads working biglaw make top dollar. Unless your current salary is $160K+, you shouldn't even entertain the notion of working now to pay off your loans.

If you are making $60K per year at your current job, you will give up the opportunity to make an additional ~$100,000 if you decide to wait until 2012 to begin law school.


While this makes sense, it doesn't take into account the lower debt options. If OP can get the same paying job from Duke at a lower price, that would be the best choice. The 160k job is not guaranteed at any of the schools though, of course, so OP should probably stay on the conservative side.

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St.Remy
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Re: Which is the least terrible choice: T6, T14$, T16$$, T25$$$?

Postby St.Remy » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:57 pm

OP, any chance that you can raise your LSAT score another 3-6 points? It seems like HYS are the only schools that would give you a decent shot at achieving your goals of prestigious clerkship -> academia, and with an LSAT score that was a bit higher you would have a decent shot at H if not all three. You could work to pay off your UG debt and retake for a slightly higher score, and even if you missed HYS you would probably get more money from lower ranked schools than you are now. With the goals you listed you'll really want the highest ranked school possible, but the potential amount of debt you would take on if you went to Columbia or NYU now is just too much. If possible I would take a year, pay off some debt, retake the LSAT, and at the end of it hopefully be in a better position than you are now.

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

Postby mst » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:58 pm

well-hello-there wrote:
mst wrote:You assume this guy is for sure going to graduate, get big-law, manage to keep that gig without getting screwed by a recession or the firm going under,

if he goes to columbia, it is not an assumption

and he only need work biglaw for maybe 6 years to pay off ALL his debt.


OK definitely flame or retarded. I'm done with this thread.

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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 11:58 pm

well-hello-there wrote:
adt231 wrote:it boils down to: how much debt are better job prospects worth.

Easily $250K.

You can be at the median at columbia and are guaranteed big law. If you don't want big law, no bother, you can work anywhere in the country making $100K+ as a columbia grad.

The $75K that you already owe is a sunk cost and should not be factored into your decision making process.

wikipedia wrote: In economics and business decision-making, sunk costs are retrospective (past) costs that have already been incurred and cannot be recovered.....Evidence from behavioral economics suggests this theory fails to predict real-world behavior. Sunk costs greatly affect actors' decisions, because many humans are loss-averse and thus normally act irrationally when making economic decisions.....Sunk costs should not affect the rational decision-maker's best choice.

If you consider the $75K in your decision making process, you are acting irrationally.

I want to live in this fantasyland where everyone at Columbia is guaranteed a $100k+ job and existing debt doesn't matter. I love sunshine and rainbows and unicorns! Maybe, I'll be president! That's guaranteed for Columbia grads too, right?

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

Postby stratocophic » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:00 am

well-hello-there wrote:
adt231 wrote:it boils down to: how much debt are better job prospects worth.

Easily $250K.

You can be at the median at columbia and are guaranteed big law. If you don't want big law, no bother, you can work anywhere in the country making $100K+ as a columbia grad.

The $75K that you already owe is a sunk cost and should not be factored into your decision making process.

wikipedia wrote: In economics and business decision-making, sunk costs are retrospective (past) costs that have already been incurred and cannot be recovered.....Evidence from behavioral economics suggests this theory fails to predict real-world behavior. Sunk costs greatly affect actors' decisions, because many humans are loss-averse and thus normally act irrationally when making economic decisions.....Sunk costs should not affect the rational decision-maker's best choice.

If you consider the $75K in your decision making process, you are acting irrationally.
That debt is actual money that OP owes and will have to pay back. It's not like a bad investment where you pay and it is just gone. It exists, and should be taken into account because it has a negative sign in front of it. I think the issue is that you don't know what a sunk cost is. Sunk costs are gone once you surrender them. That 75k isn't gone at all; it's there and growing.
well-hello-there wrote:
mst wrote:You assume this guy is for sure going to graduate, get big-law, manage to keep that gig without getting screwed by a recession or the firm going under,

if he goes to columbia, it is not an assumption

and he only need work biglaw for maybe 6 years to pay off ALL his debt.
And if OP ends up in the bottom 1/3 of his class, OP would be pretty much effed for life. Similar job prospects to median at the lesser schools, but with another 150-200k of debt packed on top.

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

Postby beachbum » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:02 am

mst wrote:If I were you, I'd do DOOK. 225 is more manageable (hell, a TON of people get close to that every year), and I don't know much about either's LRAP but I have to assume that Duke has the edge, despite their 2-tier lrap system. Also, your big-law chances jump quite a bit between duke and ucla... and when your taking on 150k+ in debt... let's be honest: the only realistic ways to pay this down are big law/"mid-law" and LRAP.

Of course I think the best choice is to work off your current debt for 2-3 years but that's just not very feasible or desirable for many people. So go with duke.

300k+ is just unbelievably daunting. That sounds truly terrible.


+1, I really think Duke is your best tradeoff in terms of risk and reward. Columbia will leave you with better BigLaw prospects, but adding $100k to your already substantial debt will be quite a burden- even with a $160k starting salary. UCLA might also be a viable option if your total debts ends up on the lower end of that spectrum.

Also, as an economics major, I'll add my voice to those saying well-hello-there is an idiot for ignoring pre-existing debt.

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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 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:02 am

mst wrote: I'm done with this thread.

pwnd

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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 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:03 am

beachbum wrote:Also, as an economics major, I'll add my voice to those saying well-hello-there is an idiot for ignoring pre-existing debt.

wikipedia begs to differ

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

Postby sarahlawg » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:04 am

stratocophic wrote:That debt is actual money that OP owes and will have to pay back. It's not like a bad investment where you pay and it is just gone. It exists, and should be taken into account because it has a negative sign in front of it. I think the issue is that you don't know what a sunk cost is. Sunk costs are gone once you surrender them. That 75k isn't gone at all; it's there and growing.


this.

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

Postby northwood » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:04 am

well-hello-there wrote:
beachbum wrote:Also, as an economics major, I'll add my voice to those saying well-hello-there is an idiot for ignoring pre-existing debt.

wikipedia begs to differ



FLAME!!!!!!!!!!!

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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 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:05 am

stratocophic wrote:That debt is actual money that OP owes and will have to pay back. It's not like a bad investment where you pay and it is just gone. It exists, and should be taken into account because it has a negative sign in front of it. I think the issue is that you don't know what a sunk cost is. Sunk costs are gone once you surrender them. That 75k isn't gone at all; it's there and growing.

^^ now that's funny! I don't care who you are!

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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 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:06 am

sarahlawg wrote:
stratocophic wrote:That debt is actual money that OP owes and will have to pay back. It's not like a bad investment where you pay and it is just gone. It exists, and should be taken into account because it has a negative sign in front of it. I think the issue is that you don't know what a sunk cost is. Sunk costs are gone once you surrender them. That 75k isn't gone at all; it's there and growing.


this is wrong

ftfy

it exists no matter WHAT choice OP makes and therefore should not be considered.

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

Postby beachbum » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:06 am

well-hello-there wrote:
beachbum wrote:Also, as an economics major, I'll add my voice to those saying well-hello-there is an idiot for ignoring pre-existing debt.

wikipedia begs to differ


Image

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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 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:07 am

northwood wrote:
well-hello-there wrote:
beachbum wrote:Also, as an economics major, I'll add my voice to those saying well-hello-there is an idiot for ignoring pre-existing debt.

wikipedia begs to differ



FLAME!!!!!!!!!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_costs
edit: 4th paragraph, 1st sentence

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

Postby stratocophic » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:08 am

well-hello-there wrote:
stratocophic wrote:That debt is actual money that OP owes and will have to pay back. It's not like a bad investment where you pay and it is just gone. It exists, and should be taken into account because it has a negative sign in front of it. I think the issue is that you don't know what a sunk cost is. Sunk costs are gone once you surrender them. That 75k isn't gone at all; it's there and growing.

^^ now that's funny! I don't care who you are!
From your wikipedia entry: "In economics and business decision-making, sunk costs are retrospective (past) costs that have already been incurred and cannot be recovered"

The 75k isn't just *gone* and therefore no longer worth considering. Thus it isn't a sunk cost.

Try telling the bank that they shouldn't consider your 75k debt when you're asking for a loan, champ.

Image

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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 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:11 am

stratocophic wrote:From your wikipedia entry: "In economics and business decision-making, sunk costs are retrospective (past) costs that have already been incurred and cannot be recovered"

The 75k isn't just *gone* and therefore no longer worth considering. Thus it isn't a sunk cost.

Try telling the bank that they shouldn't consider your 75k debt when you're asking for a loan, champ.

you don't even understand the sentence you quoted as evidenced by your irrelevant commentary after it.

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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 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:15 am

beachbum wrote:
well-hello-there wrote:
beachbum wrote:Also, as an economics major, I'll add my voice to those saying well-hello-there is an idiot for ignoring pre-existing debt.

wikipedia begs to differ


Image

facepalm huh...that's funny. Is it because I quoted wikipedia? If so, then I'll refer you to any, and I mean ANY economics, accounting or finance textbook that has the term "sunk costs" therein. Is that a good enough source? Just go ahead and look it up in your little econ texts, mr. econ major. LOL

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

Postby DeeCee » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:18 am

well-hello-there wrote:
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.


This is horrible advice. No, you have to think about debt, as the OP is doing, as OP will still have to pay it! If I were you I'd take your lowest COA school, or sit out LS for a little while, get an entry level job in a law office or in any type of legal capacity, and make sure you want to do this before racking up enormous debt. OP, I am happy to see that you are thinking this out!

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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 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:21 am

DeeCee wrote:make sure you want to do this before racking up enormous debt.

^that part of your advice is credited

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

Postby beachbum » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:22 am

well OP, the call is yours. You can listen to Mr. Econ 101, or you can live in the real world where your debt is accruing interest (and is difficult/impossible to discharge), job prospects (including length of employment and job satisfaction) are uncertain, and you have lots of goals and interests which require cash to pursue.

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

Postby BruceWayne » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:23 am

There is absolutely no way that Columbia is worth 100K more than Duke. That people think that really speaks to the obsession with US News rankings. 100K more? That's absurd. Further for his stated goal (DOJ) going to CLS over Duke won't give him a noticeable leg up. They're going to look at the two schools as being peers and will want to say GPAs above 3.3 at both.

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

Postby beachbum » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:30 am

well-hello-there wrote:
beachbum wrote:
well-hello-there wrote:
beachbum wrote:Also, as an economics major, I'll add my voice to those saying well-hello-there is an idiot for ignoring pre-existing debt.

wikipedia begs to differ


Image

facepalm huh...that's funny. Is it because I quoted wikipedia? If so, then I'll refer you to any, and I mean ANY economics, accounting or finance textbook that has the term "sunk costs" therein. Is that a good enough source? Just go ahead and look it up in your little econ texts, mr. econ major. LOL


Don't get your panties in a bunch, bro. You gave shitty advice in that you failed to properly account for the real-world consequences of a basic economy theory as it applies (or doesn't apply?) to this situation. Now you're embarrassing yourself, so just man-up and move on to something else.




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