Broke Ass Early Bird in Need of Advice

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meerdo
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Re: Broke Ass Early Bird in Need of Advice

Postby meerdo » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:52 pm

Hi all! Just to respond to some questions/feedback:

-I'm not going into law for money, I don't even want a BigLaw job. I'd much prefer public sector...but I realize that to pay off my debt I will HAVE to do BigLaw just to get by if I decide to go to LS anytime in the near future.

-Contemplating retake in Oct. and if applying will be applying VERY early in the cycle to increase any chance of financial aid.

-The job market sucks and even if (by the grace of God) I get full ride at T-14 I still have very steep competition and there is a risk...and my UG interest will be piling up.

-I've been looking into schools like UK where living is cheap, I'll have a chance at scholarships, and have a good chance of doing well in the area. I know it's not the "TLS Way", but I don't think it's a death sentence.

I really want to go into law, not just for the paycheck and prestige, but I want to practice and think it will make the most of my talents.

meerdo
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:23 pm

Re: Broke Ass Early Bird in Need of Advice

Postby meerdo » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:59 pm

rose711 wrote:To echo the advice here, you need to put all your effort into finding the best job(s) you can. That amount of debt is going to take a long time to pay down. If you are determined to go to law school, make sure you have an idea how much debt you will end up with, or go part time at night. Some corporate jobs will pay law school tuition for employees - maybe you could find a job like that(?) In this economy, you need to find the best job you can and build up that career. .


This goes back to my original question. From the articles I've read, part-time students seem to be viewed as the red headed stepchild in the legal field. Is this an accurate impression or is it just the mentality of TLSers? If it is then it may be even more difficult finding a job upon graduation and I can't handle many more obstacles.

rose711
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Re: Broke Ass Early Bird in Need of Advice

Postby rose711 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:30 pm

I think part time makes it harder to find work - but you don't really have too many options here. Don't despair - just look at this debt issue as something you have to figure out how to manage. But don't increase your debt by going to law school until you get the UG debt under control.

Personally I think it is wrong and misleading for schools to convince high school seniors and their parents to pay sticker rates for Ivy League undergrad degrees. So many people think it is worth it do go into six figures of debt for undergrad because they somehow think they will have it made when they graduate.

You need to find the best job you can right now and not count on law school to bail you out of your debt problems.

scammedhard
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Re: Broke Ass Early Bird in Need of Advice

Postby scammedhard » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:38 pm

rose711 wrote:I think part time makes it harder to find work - but you don't really have too many options here. Don't despair - just look at this debt issue as something you have to figure out how to manage. But don't increase your debt by going to law school until you get the UG debt under control.

Personally I think it is wrong and misleading for schools to convince high school seniors and their parents to pay sticker rates for Ivy League undergrad degrees. So many people think it is worth it do go into six figures of debt for undergrad because they somehow think they will have it made when they graduate.

You need to find the best job you can right now and not count on law school to bail you out of your debt problems.

OP:
Rose711 is totally right. I would even add that you should stop wasting your time here in TLS. Use that time to find a good job to get your debt under control. The big lesson here should be that education sometimes doesn't pay off, so don't commit the same mistake by rushing into law school. Sometimes it's not about what you want or desire, it's about what's feasible.
Last edited by scammedhard on Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:45 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Magnolia
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Re: Broke Ass Early Bird in Need of Advice

Postby Magnolia » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:39 pm

meerdo wrote:
rose711 wrote:To echo the advice here, you need to put all your effort into finding the best job(s) you can. That amount of debt is going to take a long time to pay down. If you are determined to go to law school, make sure you have an idea how much debt you will end up with, or go part time at night. Some corporate jobs will pay law school tuition for employees - maybe you could find a job like that(?) In this economy, you need to find the best job you can and build up that career. .


This goes back to my original question. From the articles I've read, part-time students seem to be viewed as the red headed stepchild in the legal field. Is this an accurate impression or is it just the mentality of TLSers? If it is then it may be even more difficult finding a job upon graduation and I can't handle many more obstacles.

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 2&start=75
^ A third year biglaw associate who was taking questions was asked about this and said that it was still possible to get biglaw if you're a PT student. He has a current thread going in the employment forum if you want to ask him more specific questions about possible stigma, obstacles, etc. He's probably has more insight into it than the rest of us.

MyManKanye
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Re: Broke Ass Early Bird in Need of Advice

Postby MyManKanye » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:47 pm

I wouldn't listen to everyone telling you to forget law school. You don't need to do biglaw or even get a full ride at a T14. You need to go to law school for under 100k and you need to be prepared to service that debt for 30 years. I know TLS people are the biggest debt nuts there are, but you know the vast majority of people in the world go hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for 30 years for their home. Even if you get a shitlaw job on the first mode of the salary chart you'd be able to make long term debt payments. Sure you couldn't live like a king or likely own a home for some time, but you wouldn't be screwed.

Honestly, if you can get a law degree for under 100k you'd likely be better off than trying to pay down your debt. A marketing job might get you moving, but honestly there's no future in that. If you get a job at 30-50k now, it won't be that much better than 40-60k plus another hundred grand in debt. I might argue that its better because your 40-60k has growth options. I don't know many marketing jobs that increase pay up to high 5 or low 6 figures. I wouldn't go part time. I would retake asap, I would go to the school that gave me the most money/was cheapest and still in the T1 range, and then I would work my ass off there to be top 25% or as close to it as my abilities let me be. You might even qualify for a better/full scholarship after 1L if you really kill it.

Just don't let people on TLS tell you that you'll die if you don't make 160k a year your first year and pay off your debt in 5 years. The majority of the world is paying debt their whole life. Debt isn't something you want, but its not something you need to panic over. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

scammedhard
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: Broke Ass Early Bird in Need of Advice

Postby scammedhard » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:51 pm

MyManKanye wrote:I wouldn't listen to everyone telling you to forget law school. You don't need to do biglaw or even get a full ride at a T14. You need to go to law school for under 100k and you need to be prepared to service that debt for 30 years. I know TLS people are the biggest debt nuts there are, but you know the vast majority of people in the world go hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for 30 years for their home. Even if you get a shitlaw job on the first mode of the salary chart you'd be able to make long term debt payments. Sure you couldn't live like a king or likely own a home for some time, but you wouldn't be screwed.

Honestly, if you can get a law degree for under 100k you'd likely be better off than trying to pay down your debt. A marketing job might get you moving, but honestly there's no future in that. If you get a job at 30-50k now, it won't be that much better than 40-60k plus another hundred grand in debt. I wouldn't go part time. I would retake asap, I would go to the school that gave me the most money/was cheapest and still in the T1 range, and then I would work my ass off there to be top 25% or as close to it as my abilities let me be.

Just don't let people on TLS tell you that you'll die if you don't make 160k a year your first year and pay off your debt in 5 years. The majority of the world is paying debt their whole life. Debt isn't something you want, but its not something you need to panic over. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

The vast majority of people in the world... what world is that? The US, Japan, and Europe? About half of the world population lives in China, India, Brazil, Mexico, etc. I don't think they are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
Last edited by scammedhard on Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

meerdo
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:23 pm

Re: Broke Ass Early Bird in Need of Advice

Postby meerdo » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:52 pm

Magnolia wrote:
meerdo wrote:
rose711 wrote:To echo the advice here, you need to put all your effort into finding the best job(s) you can. That amount of debt is going to take a long time to pay down. If you are determined to go to law school, make sure you have an idea how much debt you will end up with, or go part time at night. Some corporate jobs will pay law school tuition for employees - maybe you could find a job like that(?) In this economy, you need to find the best job you can and build up that career. .


This goes back to my original question. From the articles I've read, part-time students seem to be viewed as the red headed stepchild in the legal field. Is this an accurate impression or is it just the mentality of TLSers? If it is then it may be even more difficult finding a job upon graduation and I can't handle many more obstacles.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=82732&start=75
^ A third year biglaw associate who was taking questions was asked about this and said that it was still possible to get biglaw if you're a PT student. He has a current thread going in the employment forum if you want to ask him more specific questions about possible stigma, obstacles, etc. He's probably has more insight into it than the rest of us.



Thanks Magnolia, this is the sort of thing I've been looking for!

I'm not trying to rush into going to law school. I'm just the type of person who needs to research every possible option and figured I'd look into part-time attendance. This is a big decision and I am certainly taking all this advice with a grain of salt.

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Na_Swatch
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Re: Broke Ass Early Bird in Need of Advice

Postby Na_Swatch » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:57 pm

scammedhard wrote:
MyManKanye wrote:I wouldn't listen to everyone telling you to forget law school. You don't need to do biglaw or even get a full ride at a T14. You need to go to law school for under 100k and you need to be prepared to service that debt for 30 years. I know TLS people are the biggest debt nuts there are, but you know the vast majority of people in the world go hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for 30 years for their home. Even if you get a shitlaw job on the first mode of the salary chart you'd be able to make long term debt payments. Sure you couldn't live like a king or likely own a home for some time, but you wouldn't be screwed.

Honestly, if you can get a law degree for under 100k you'd likely be better off than trying to pay down your debt. A marketing job might get you moving, but honestly there's no future in that. If you get a job at 30-50k now, it won't be that much better than 40-60k plus another hundred grand in debt. I wouldn't go part time. I would retake asap, I would go to the school that gave me the most money/was cheapest and still in the T1 range, and then I would work my ass off there to be top 25% or as close to it as my abilities let me be.

Just don't let people on TLS tell you that you'll die if you don't make 160k a year your first year and pay off your debt in 5 years. The majority of the world is paying debt their whole life. Debt isn't something you want, but its not something you need to panic over. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

The vast majority of people in the world... what world is that? The US, Japan, and Europe? About half of the world population lives in China, India, Brazil, Mexico, etc. I don't think they are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.


Actually that isn't even the main problem with that analogy. When you go into debt to buy a home you have an actual physical asset that is worth the amount you are going into debt for and can sell to pay off your debt.

Anyways, that said, OP really needs to figure out if he wants to be a lawyer. If he believes that he will derive true job satisfaction from being an attorney and realizes the consequences of his debt, then he should consider law school. But if there is any doubt about this another career without 3 more years of schooling would be the better option.

MyManKanye
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:11 pm

Re: Broke Ass Early Bird in Need of Advice

Postby MyManKanye » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:12 pm

scammedhard wrote:The vast majority of people in the world... what world is that? The US, Japan, and Europe? About half of the world population lives in China, India, Brazil, Mexico, etc. I don't think they are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.


You should quote the entire sentence. What I said was the vast majority of the people in the world go into massive debt to buy their house. I never said a majority of people in the world are in debt because of a house.

Anyway, the house vs education analogy is more apt than you'd believe. A house normally returns 5% a year depending on the area as an investment. Its also a terribly non-liquid investment (granted not as much as an education). An education will generally outperform that figure. If you went to law school chances are you'd outearn your non-law school career by greater than 5% per year. In some cases more than 100% more.

The example of being able to sell a house and not an education is naive because even if you sell your home due to financial hardship you probably still took a bath on it and you still need a place to live. If you turn around and sell your house at the wrong time than you might be underwater (like millions of people are now) and now you have debt and no asset. Education is superior because, while it can't be sold off you can always use it to keep working and "appreciating your investment" through raises and promotions. Education can't be sold off, but you can always do the same as you would with a house and "downsize" to a worse job. Chances are that you won't have to work a shit job forever even if you have to do it for awhile.

If someone gave me the option of sinking 200k into a house in a major market or a legal education of similar cost/quality in that market I would take the education as the better investment.

You're right to be cautious and to research this a lot. A house and an education can both be considered investments. However, the one downside that you need to keep in mind is that you can bankrupt yourself over a house and come out alright. In nearly all cases student loan debt is permanent. As long as you can keep working though, your investment in yourself will keep accruing value and even if its very slowly that debt will shrink.




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