Am I an idiot...

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

Should I go to CLS?

Yes, why is this even a question?
75
86%
No, WUSTL is the best bet based on the circumstances
12
14%
 
Total votes: 87

jman77
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Am I an idiot...

Postby jman77 » Wed May 04, 2011 3:55 pm

for still considering taking WUSTL at full ride over CLS at $30K scholly?

So I am all set to move to NY and attend CLS, but now that I am actually applying for loans and have started seeing the hard figures, I have suddenly come down with a case of cold feet. $150K seems like a ton of money and I am pretty debt averse.

From what I've read on TLS and other forums, very few people make it past 3-5 years in BigLaw, which is pretty much the only option I would have if I go to CLS. I am international (non-resident/non-citizen) and will most probably not qualify for LRAP, so that safety net is out. WUSTL would appear to give me more flexibility for non-BigLaw jobs, and there is still a chance (small chance, I know) that I would still get BigLaw anyway.

I am from California, have been working here the past five years, and would like to come back here after school.

I do have substantial work experience in Auditing/Consulting/Compliance, including a stint with a Big 4 auditing firm and I do really well with interviews. I figure that would probably help me a little bit in terms of looking for a job coming out of either school.

Should I just take the plunge and go to CLS or do my circumstances warrant picking WUSTL instead?

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apollo13
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby apollo13 » Wed May 04, 2011 4:24 pm

In what way WUSTL appear to give you more flexibility for non-BigLaw jobs?

bhan87
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby bhan87 » Wed May 04, 2011 4:26 pm

apollo13 wrote:In what way WUSTL appear to give you more flexibility for non-BigLaw jobs?


Curious about this too. In just about every aspect CLS will be the one that gives you more flexibility...

whymeohgodno
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby whymeohgodno » Wed May 04, 2011 4:26 pm

If you take WUSTL someone should slap you.

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bk1
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby bk1 » Wed May 04, 2011 4:27 pm

Don't you need your employer to sponsor a work visa for you since you're a non-citizen? Aren't these sorts of things more guaranteed from biglaw employers?

That's what I've heard (I don't know if it's true), but if it is true it seems like CLS is the right call since it gives you a far better chance at biglaw.

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bk1
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby bk1 » Wed May 04, 2011 4:28 pm

bhan87 wrote:
apollo13 wrote:In what way WUSTL appear to give you more flexibility for non-BigLaw jobs?


Curious about this too. In just about every aspect CLS will be the one that gives you more flexibility...


I'm assuming he means financial flexibility. In that, with very little debt from WUSTL he could be fairly financially secure in most non-biglaw jobs, whereas with tons of debt from CLS he would be indebted for a very long time coming from CLS if he did not get biglaw.

jman77
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby jman77 » Wed May 04, 2011 4:31 pm

I was referring to the debt aspect. I would have little to no debt coming out of WUSTL (savings will cover portions of the COL expenses). I am looking at around $150K debt coming out of CLS. Since LRAP will not be an option for me (all loans will be private), I will have no choice except to go BigLaw coming out of CLS.

With little to no debt to service, I don't necessarily have to go BigLaw and can probably go back to my current field if I strike out.

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bk1
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby bk1 » Wed May 04, 2011 4:33 pm

jman77 wrote:I was referring to the debt aspect. I would have little to no debt coming out of WUSTL (savings will cover portions of the COL expenses). I am looking at around $150K debt coming out of CLS. Since LRAP will not be an option for me (all loans will be private), I will have no choice except to go BigLaw coming out of CLS.

With little to no debt to service, I don't necessarily have to go BigLaw and can probably go back to my current field if I strike out.


Or you can work at small firm as a lawyer and pay back your debt over 15 years?

CLS is far riskier that's for sure, but the payoff is far more likely (if biglaw is what you want).

whymeohgodno
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby whymeohgodno » Wed May 04, 2011 4:34 pm

jman77 wrote:I was referring to the debt aspect. I would have little to no debt coming out of WUSTL (savings will cover portions of the COL expenses). I am looking at around $150K debt coming out of CLS. Since LRAP will not be an option for me (all loans will be private), I will have no choice except to go BigLaw coming out of CLS.

With little to no debt to service, I don't necessarily have to go BigLaw and can probably go back to my current field if I strike out.


LRAP doesn't cover private loans?

Also if you want to have a decent shot at getting back to the west coast, Columbia is the bomb.

jman77
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby jman77 » Wed May 04, 2011 4:34 pm

bk1 wrote:Don't you need your employer to sponsor a work visa for you since you're a non-citizen? Aren't these sorts of things more guaranteed from biglaw employers?

That's what I've heard (I don't know if it's true), but if it is true it seems like CLS is the right call since it gives you a far better chance at biglaw.


The first part is true. I am in fact currently on H-1B visa, sponsored by my current employer. I will also only have 3 more years left on my H-1B post-law school - you can only stay on H-1B a total of 6 years and would have to leave the US for a year to get another 6-year term.

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bk1
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby bk1 » Wed May 04, 2011 4:39 pm

jman77 wrote:
bk1 wrote:Don't you need your employer to sponsor a work visa for you since you're a non-citizen? Aren't these sorts of things more guaranteed from biglaw employers?

That's what I've heard (I don't know if it's true), but if it is true it seems like CLS is the right call since it gives you a far better chance at biglaw.


The first part is true. I am in fact currently on H-1B visa, sponsored by my current employer. I will also only have 3 more years left on my H-1B post-law school - you can only stay on H-1B a total of 6 years and would have to leave the US for a year to get another 6-year term.


So I'm confused as to what you will do once that 3 years comes up (assuming you hit biglaw). By that point you will probably have at best 1/3 of your debt paid off. Will you try to become a citizen during those 3 years post-law school or something else?

cornellbeez
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby cornellbeez » Wed May 04, 2011 4:42 pm

whymeohgodno wrote:
jman77 wrote:I was referring to the debt aspect. I would have little to no debt coming out of WUSTL (savings will cover portions of the COL expenses). I am looking at around $150K debt coming out of CLS. Since LRAP will not be an option for me (all loans will be private), I will have no choice except to go BigLaw coming out of CLS.

With little to no debt to service, I don't necessarily have to go BigLaw and can probably go back to my current field if I strike out.


LRAP doesn't cover private loans?

Also if you want to have a decent shot at getting back to the west coast, Columbia is the bomb.


I think he's concerned about taking out private loans in the first place. And he wouldn't qualify for IBR. And as an international he doesn't qualify to work in a ton of federal government jobs. So if he strikes out with private work, that's pretty much it. And if he gets biglaw, he is going to have trouble lateraling to government work.

Honestly, I would NOT take out 180k-190k for law school (including COL) in private loans, especially because there are so many working limitations. At least the federal government doesn't have any real recourse against you, but private creditors do.

So yeah, I vote neither. Don't you have other middling options?

jman77
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby jman77 » Wed May 04, 2011 4:46 pm

Already withdrew from the schools between these two that offered middle-of-the-road scholarships that would still have put me in 6 figures of debt. I figured those options really wouldn't offer much of a different scenario from where I would be if I go to CLS.

cornellbeez
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby cornellbeez » Wed May 04, 2011 4:48 pm

jman77 wrote:Already withdrew from the schools between these two that offered middle-of-the-road scholarships that would still have put me in 6 figures of debt. I figured those options really wouldn't offer much of a different scenario from where I would be if I go to CLS.


Tough scenario. I mean, it sounds crazy, considering your numbers are good, but I would possibly advocate retaking to get more money...or if you can get someone to pay tuition, then sure.

I just think it's too risky racking up so much private debt when there are so many working limitations and you will probably, almost definitely, hate biglaw so you'd want out within a couple years.
Last edited by cornellbeez on Wed May 04, 2011 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jman77
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby jman77 » Wed May 04, 2011 4:48 pm

bk1 wrote:
jman77 wrote:
bk1 wrote:Don't you need your employer to sponsor a work visa for you since you're a non-citizen? Aren't these sorts of things more guaranteed from biglaw employers?

That's what I've heard (I don't know if it's true), but if it is true it seems like CLS is the right call since it gives you a far better chance at biglaw.


The first part is true. I am in fact currently on H-1B visa, sponsored by my current employer. I will also only have 3 more years left on my H-1B post-law school - you can only stay on H-1B a total of 6 years and would have to leave the US for a year to get another 6-year term.


So I'm confused as to what you will do once that 3 years comes up (assuming you hit biglaw). By that point you will probably have at best 1/3 of your debt paid off. Will you try to become a citizen during those 3 years post-law school or something else?


Yup, the plan is to get permanent residency status at least. But as with everything else, that is not a guaranteed outcome.

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bk1
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby bk1 » Wed May 04, 2011 4:54 pm

jman77 wrote:Yup, the plan is to get permanent residency status at least. But as with everything else, that is not a guaranteed outcome.


I don't think anybody on TLS can actually give you sound advice due to the manner of variables that are in play.

CLS is riskier, without a doubt. But I think it will be better for you. I think there is also risk in going to WUSTL and then having to go back to your old job if you can't find a small firm that would sponsor you for an H1B.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed May 04, 2011 5:12 pm

Even if your life long dream & goal is to become a law prof. at WashUStL, you should go to Columbia.

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IzziesGal
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby IzziesGal » Wed May 04, 2011 5:21 pm

I am pretty much one of the least prestige-whoring people on this board, and even I say you'd be crazy to pass up CLS for WUSL.

thecynic69
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby thecynic69 » Wed May 04, 2011 6:34 pm

If you need to ask whether or not you are an idiot, the answer is generally yes. If you go to CLS over WUSL, you will serve to prove this general rule.

deadhipsters
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby deadhipsters » Wed May 04, 2011 6:58 pm

I don't think it's crazy. CLS is going to cost 200k btw, unless they offered some sort of scholarship. It really depends on this guy's career goals. And while CLS will offer him a number of career oppurtunities that WUSL def will not, that might be ok. It sounds like he doesn't want Biglaw anyway. Is there a third option? I might take BC (full scol) over CLS for instance.

flcath
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby flcath » Wed May 04, 2011 7:15 pm

deadhipsters wrote:I don't think it's crazy. CLS is going to cost 200k btw, unless they offered some sort of scholarship. It really depends on this guy's career goals. And while CLS will offer him a number of career oppurtunities that WUSL def will not, that might be ok. It sounds like he doesn't want Biglaw anyway. Is there a third option? I might take BC (full scol) over CLS for instance.

It's fair enough.

I'd still personally do CLS provided that you're sure you want to do law, as in any form of law.

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geoduck
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby geoduck » Wed May 04, 2011 7:17 pm

At first I was 100% in the Columbia camp. But as more info is trickling out... I'm starting to like WUSTL for this one. That kind of PRIVATE debt is insane, even for #4.

thecynic69
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby thecynic69 » Wed May 04, 2011 7:19 pm

deadhipsters wrote:I don't think it's crazy. CLS is going to cost 200k btw, unless they offered some sort of scholarship. It really depends on this guy's career goals. And while CLS will offer him a number of career oppurtunities that WUSL def will not, that might be ok. It sounds like he doesn't want Biglaw anyway. Is there a third option? I might take BC (full scol) over CLS for instance.


S/he said 30k scholly. Idk, I trusted his/her 150 figure. Still worth it at 200 I think, assuming as the poster above me said, OP is going to do some form of law. This isn't a close call where 50k makes a difference.

deadhipsters
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby deadhipsters » Wed May 04, 2011 7:29 pm

thecynic69 wrote:
deadhipsters wrote:I don't think it's crazy. CLS is going to cost 200k btw, unless they offered some sort of scholarship. It really depends on this guy's career goals. And while CLS will offer him a number of career oppurtunities that WUSL def will not, that might be ok. It sounds like he doesn't want Biglaw anyway. Is there a third option? I might take BC (full scol) over CLS for instance.


S/he said 30k scholly. Idk, I trusted his/her 150 figure. Still worth it at 200 I think, assuming as the poster above me said, OP is going to do some form of law. This isn't a close call where 50k makes a difference.


150k-200k is a large sum of money. And I agree, in for a penny in for a pound when it comes to such large sums of money. That said, that kind of debt is soul crushing. If there are other options out there, the OP is smart for looking into them. And I genuinely applaud him for not being a prestige whore. I personally would take CLS.

But it doesn't really sound like that is the best fit for him. He has identifed that he does not really want to do Biglaw and I'm not sure he can even gain Federal employment. It does sound like he has an accounting background. So.... if that is the case he could easily transistion as a tax lawyer. And WUSL would allow him to have a fairly lucrative career doing that, particulary because he would be debt free.

jman77
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Re: Am I an idiot...

Postby jman77 » Wed May 04, 2011 7:30 pm

Yup, no doubt I'm set on working as an attorney. I am leaving behind a pretty good job to go to law school because I know it's my calling. Also, my current job has me collaborating extensively with our Legal Counsel team, so I know what I would be getting myself into, although I will concede that my experience will probably not be a good gauge for what my life would be like if I went into BigLaw.

After factoring in savings and scholarships from both schools, I'm looking at around 150K debt coming out of CLS and 0-10K debt coming out of WUSTL.




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