T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

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

Which should I choose (estimated debt sfter savings and schollies)

Northwestern ($150k)
1
4%
Boston College ($25k)
20
80%
UNC ($0k)
3
12%
Reapply w/new LSAT
1
4%
 
Total votes: 25

where2next
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T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby where2next » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:12 am

At this point, it has come down to choosing between options in the t14 (not T6) or BU/BC both with significant money. I would like to practice in Boston after graduation. Would it really make sense to choose NW or Michigan with a likely additional 150k of debt just to return back to the Boston market?

I believe I underperformed on my LSAT and working an additional year in order to try and create options in the T6 or money to the T14 is also an option. Also have full-ride at another strong regional school outside of New England.
Last edited by where2next on Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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orm518
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby orm518 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:23 am

Just my opinion, I'm deciding on schools as you are, but I am a Bostonian!

I'd take BU/BC at a significant discount. They both place about 30% into NLJ250 BigLaw firms (this was the most recent data much talked about on TLS, and ITE probably the nadir), and they are strong in the Boston market, where you want to be. Outside the 30%, they both have employment stats similar to the other near-T14ers (WUSTL, USC, Vandy) in quality legal positions.

A T14 degree will carry you farther and maybe look more prominent long-term on your resume, but if you want a chance at WH, Goodwin, maybe even Ropes, BU/BC with strong grades will make that a possibility.

That being said, you can come back to Boston with a midwest degree. I know two anecdotes of this happening, neither had any connection to Boston (besides BU undergrad), got a T14 degree, now making NYC market rates in Boston as a 3 and 4 year associate.

Good luck, you have nice options there.

FiveSermon
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby FiveSermon » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:26 am

If you want Boston go to BU/BC with $$.

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Law Sauce
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby Law Sauce » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:06 am

NW and Michigan are still in the Midwest, and although they would have a great name in Boston, they do not have as significant presence there (connections, OCI pipeline, etc.). Check the nalp database I could be wrong. What happened to Cornell? Not apply? Cornell is a T14 that has connections to Boston. Im surprised you didnt mention them. Absent Cornell, and probably with enough money even over Cornell, I would take BC/BU for Boston. Although if I was willing to work elsewhere (NYC, DC, Chicago) I'd go to Michigan.

alumniguy
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby alumniguy » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:18 am

What type of practice? If we are talking biglaw, it seems like the extra $150k may not be worth it. Assuming you get to biglaw (and with that level of debt you'll need biglaw simply to service the debt and live comfortably), you're going to need to be there probably 3-4 years to pay back that $150k. The main issue here is that associates in biglaw frequently don't last that long. Biglaw classes are usually reduced by about 50% by the 3-4 year mark. This is mostly self-selection out though. So if you are truly willing to sacrifice your personal life for the demands of biglaw, the T-14 may be the best option.

Reading your post, I would suggest you sit this round out. Retake and see what happens. Re-ask why law - is it the potential salary that is most appealing? Is it because you aren't that sure what else you'd like to do in life? Is it because you don't really like finance/banking and thought this being a lawyer pays similarly but the work is much more exciting?

I hate to be the constant pessimist on this site, but in my experience too many law school students go to law school for the wrong reason(s). Back when the economy was booming, it didn't matter so much because well, a lot more students found high paying jobs. Now that there is significantly less opportunities out there, I think many law school students are starting to focus in on the true cost/benefits of law school as everyone should have been doing all along.

Simply put, if you are looking at law school because either (i) you think you'll make a good living or (ii) you don't know what else to do with your life and you always liked to debate things, then I think a re-evaluation is in order.

OP at least is fortunate enough to have great options. I would assume that grads from the T-14s that strike out in biglaw still have good (not great) prospects in front of them, especially compared to most other students. Taking a longer view, grading from a T-14 will never hurt you.

minuit
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby minuit » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:29 am

BC/BU with $$ seems like a really wise decision in this case.

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paratactical
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby paratactical » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:30 am

Did you grow up in Boston or do you have other strong ties to the area? Do you have a preference as to the type of law you want to practice?

where2next
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby where2next » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:58 am

Thanks for all the great insight.

As a little more background, I did grow up in New England. My family and friends are there. I certainly have an interest in practicing there and likely remaining around for the long haul. I have been living out of state for the past couple years and I am ready to return.

I have had several years to weigh in on the decision and I am relatively sure that law school is the correct career move for me. I have an interest in large firm work following graduation. Beyond that, I think my interests, strengths, and other life factors will dictate the career path that I follow, but obviously I would like as many options available as possible.

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paratactical
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby paratactical » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:02 am

where2next wrote:Thanks for all the great insight.

As a little more background, I did grow up in New England. My family and friends are there. I certainly have an interest in practicing there and likely remaining around for the long haul. I have been living out of state for the past couple years and I am ready to return.

I have had several years to weigh in on the decision and I am relatively sure that law school is the correct career move for me. I have an interest in large firm work following graduation. Beyond that, I think my interests, strengths, and other life factors will dictate the career path that I follow, but obviously I would like as many options available as possible.

Given this, if you're interested in big firm work and you want the huge hours, huge paycheck in Boston, I'd be really torn between Mich and BU/BC. It would really depend on the total COA for each school for me. If you're interested in small firms or have an IP background or if BU/BC are cheap with a low stip scholly, then I'd go BU/BC, whichever gave me more $$.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby BarbellDreams » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:34 pm

minuit wrote:BC/BU with $$ seems like a really wise decision in this case.


This.

where2next
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby where2next » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:06 pm

What if a T6 school such as Columbia was in the picture? Still take the money from the Boston schools for work in Boston or Columbia at full-price?

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paratactical
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby paratactical » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:12 pm

where2next wrote:What if a T6 school such as Columbia was in the picture? Still take the money from the Boston schools for work in Boston or Columbia at full-price?

It really depends on how much money you get from BU/BC and if you want biglaw or what.

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ndirish2010
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby ndirish2010 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:23 pm

Go with one of the Boston schools for sure.

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zonto
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby zonto » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:33 pm

Whichever school in Boston speaks to your heart the most.

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thexfactor
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby thexfactor » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:49 pm

id take michshitgan or nw.

higher chance at biglaw. About 20% extra chance. Once you miss the biglaw boat, it is very very tough to get biglaw.

alumniguy
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby alumniguy » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:00 pm

thexfactor wrote:id take michshitgan or nw.

higher chance at biglaw. About 20% extra chance. Once you miss the biglaw boat, it is very very tough to get biglaw.


This is generally credited. If you miss the biglaw boat as an entry level, your odds of making it into biglaw at a later point in your career are extremely small.

FWIW, I am personally a big fan of Michigan. It places it well in both private practice and clerkships. You're probably going to keep your non-tuition costs down due to its location. Seems like they have a very wide array of class options.

While T14 at sticker may not be the best financial decision, there are certainly other factors involved and it may indeed be the best overall decision if you can get past the increased debt.

where2next
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby where2next » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:43 am

Deposits just about due. Might be helpful for others as well. Anybody else want to weigh in on sticker price at lower top 14 schools versus very strong regional schools (in the right region) with substantial scholarship dollars?

Added a poll...with estimated debt figures. (and three different options that I have narrowed it down to for different reasons)


Check is out and ready mail to BC.

Slevin Kelevra 2011
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby Slevin Kelevra 2011 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:58 am

The only strong regionals that are worth sticker are BC, BU, Vandy, UCLA, USC and UT. Maybe Fordham and GW. If you got $ and can keep your debt down at any of these schools, you are in amazing shape.

alumniguy
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Re: T14 at sticker or strong regional with $$$

Postby alumniguy » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:59 am

Vote BC. Graduating with only 25k in debt will be a VERY GOOD thing. It is always going to be difficult to pass on a T-14 offer, but in this scenario it makes complete sense.

Boston is an incredibly insular market. The biglaw shops there heavily favor local schools and while you would likely get a good bump being from NW, it is clear that Boston biglaw hires the majority of their grads from H/BC/BU.

I would really dedicate yourself to law school your 1L year to ensure you are top 25%.




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