Is T14 only for BigLaw?

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Does it make sense to pay sticker at T-14 if you are dead set against Big Law?

Yes
21
19%
No
39
35%
Depends on which T-14
50
45%
 
Total votes: 110

FADO07
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Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby FADO07 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:31 pm

Just wanted to survey the collective wisdom of TLS on a tough question:

I have marginal T-14 numbers (17x, low 3 GPA) and think I could probably muster at least one T-14 acceptance, though probably at sticker. I've got no interest in biglaw, and could probably get some money at a T30. Thinking gov or public interest, and know that I might need to rely on an lrap.

Does it make sense to shoot for T-14 at full boat and plan to rely on lrap, or should I shoot for a large scholarship?

I know this is personal question, but I appreciate your help.

edit: for title
Last edited by FADO07 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FADO07
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby FADO07 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:43 pm

....I should add also that I'm not set on a prestigious job either. Just a good one, preferably in government.

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Noval
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby Noval » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:01 pm

If you go to a T-14(Or any Law School in general) paying sticker, BigLaw will be your only option left equivalent to a "good job".

But if BigLaw is your goal, the better ranked your school is = the better your odds are to get a job there, but you'll still have to work your ass off in 1L to "stand out" of the crowd.

Tell yourself that the market is shit, and a "good job" in Law, BigLaw or not will require you to go to a good school and do well from there, if possible, at the lowest possible cost.

Do everything to NOT pay sticker.

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NYC Law
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby NYC Law » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:04 pm

I don't see why you wouldn't go to the T-14. You'd have better chances of getting a job and the debt load won't really matter since you'll be using IBR + LRAP. Most T-14s have better LRAP programs anyway.

showNprove
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby showNprove » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:30 pm

The T14 schools open more doors in every sector of legal employment, and they give you more mobility than other schools, too. Unless you get a substantial scholarship (half tuition or more) and are debt averse, I think you would have a tough time justifying taking the lower-ranked school with money, no matter what your career goals are. It's better to have a great job and to use an LRAP/IBR than to have somewhat less monstrous debt, a crappy job, and still have to use LRAP/IBR.

Your school will be with you for entire career. It will always be something employers look at.

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pattonthicke
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby pattonthicke » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:52 pm

1. you need a poll b/c that's more fun.
2. Tcr for anyone attending law school is to go to a T-6 with money, but most ppl cant pull that off, so here come tough decisions.
3. TLS will tell you to go to a t14 because you will be more likely to get legal employment in general, you can take advantage of lrap, blah, blah, blah. OR (although less likely) Tls will tell you to go to a t-30 b/c that amount of debt is crazy. But that answer alone is not enough to justify the debt, and the reliance on an lrap. You need to do several things:

A. Research more what type of job you want and the percent of grads from a t30 or so that actually get the kind of job you want.

B. Research the lrap of the t-14 schools and whether or not it covers the type of job you want. Further research the # of ppl from the t-14's you are interested in who have actually gotten jobs in the gov sector you desire, their salary, and how their salary comes out after debt/ibr etc and determine if you are ok with that

C. I have no idea whether or not you should do t-14 or t-30 until you do the research but 1 thing you shouldnt do is get the unsubstantiated advice from tls with no backbone that says shit like.. go t-14 kid, better a job with debt than no job or...go t-30, you will be a slave for the chinese with all that debt. Just do the research on your own and make a decision, but ppl on tls will only give you (mostly) arguments that they have heard on tls from tlsers who also heard that argument on tls.

Edit: Skip A-C, apply to duke, they give money to everybody

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starchinkilt
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby starchinkilt » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:56 pm

NYC Law wrote:I don't see why you wouldn't go to the T-14. You'd have better chances of getting a job and the debt load won't really matter since you'll be using IBR + LRAP. Most T-14s have better LRAP programs anyway.

FADO07
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby FADO07 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:58 pm

pattonthicke wrote:1. you need a poll b/c that's more fun.
2. Tcr for anyone attending law school is to go to a T-6 with money, but most ppl cant pull that off, so here come tough decisions.
3. TLS will tell you to go to a t14 because you will be more likely to get legal employment in general, you can take advantage of lrap, blah, blah, blah. OR (although less likely) Tls will tell you to go to a t-30 b/c that amount of debt is crazy. But that answer alone is not enough to justify the debt, and the reliance on an lrap. You need to do several things:

A. Research more what type of job you want and the percent of grads from a t30 or so that actually get the kind of job you want.

B. Research the lrap of the t-14 schools and whether or not it covers the type of job you want. Further research the # of ppl from the t-14's you are interested in who have actually gotten jobs in the gov sector you desire, their salary, and how their salary comes out after debt/ibr etc and determine if you are ok with that

C. I have no idea whether or not you should do t-14 or t-30 until you do the research but 1 thing you shouldnt do is get the unsubstantiated advice from tls with no backbone that says shit like.. go t-14 kid, better a job with debt than no job or...go t-30, you will be a slave for the chinese with all that debt. Just do the research on your own and make a decision, but ppl on tls will only give you (mostly) arguments that they have heard on tls from tlsers who also heard that argument on tls.

Edit: Skip A-C, apply to duke, they give money to everybody


Thanks for the well thought out advice. Per Pattonthicke, adding a poll.

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rayiner
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby rayiner » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:03 pm

FADO07 wrote:....I should add also that I'm not set on a prestigious job either. Just a good one, preferably in government.


ITE having a job is prestigious.

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TheKingintheNorth
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby TheKingintheNorth » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:11 am

T-14 is not only for Big Law. There are some schools you can make that argument for, I guess, but try telling that to someone at Yale/NYU/Berkels, or really any school other than Chicago (I think they had a grand total of 1 PI/Government job last year).

I think your understating the importance of region. Georgetown is obviously a great fucking call for you, and GW with money might be better than freezing your ass and finances in Ann Arbor or Ithica--i'm sure UVA feeds into DC decently too.

Nevertheless, I think your post might be a bit presumptuous. Those numbers might not get you into the t-14 and they might not get you into T-30 with $. Then again, they might get you into Georgetown with a stipend to take the edge off. Such is the life of a splitter.

Carpet-bomb the T-14 (though I wouldn't waste your time/money going at HYSCCN, but you never know), then all the t-30 schools you think you'd like. TLS can sometimes warp your opinions about things, so remember that GW, BU, UCLA, USC and many more are all great schools a lot of people would have been real happy to be at before they got their 170+ scores.


That's my nice advice, my real personal advice is that I wouldn't go to law school unless its HYSCCN+B and even then only with a little bit of a scholarship at CCN, and a decent government job is gonna to be fucking impossible to get. Now i'm probably just saying this because I happen to fill that criteria, and like i mentioned above, TLS warps your opinions, but hey I really hope i'm wrong.

schooner
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby schooner » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:17 pm

showNprove wrote:The T14 schools open more doors in every sector of legal employment, and they give you more mobility than other schools, too. Unless you get a substantial scholarship (half tuition or more) and are debt averse, I think you would have a tough time justifying taking the lower-ranked school with money, no matter what your career goals are. It's better to have a great job and to use an LRAP/IBR than to have somewhat less monstrous debt, a crappy job, and still have to use LRAP/IBR.

Your school will be with you for entire career. It will always be something employers look at.


And the prestige of your law degree does sway govt & PI employers, even in the less popular and obscure fields. In DC at least, and especially in this economy, you'll be competing with tons of other T14 grads.

One super highly placed (think really high) recruiter type I know in Big Govt told me flat out, if you can't go to a top law school, just go to the cheapest one. Of course that person's opinion is just one of many, and I'm about to violate that recommendation myself.

ballpop
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby ballpop » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:39 pm

Noval wrote:If you go to a T-14(Or any Law School in general) paying sticker, BigLaw will be your only option left equivalent to a "good job".

But if BigLaw is your goal, the better ranked your school is = the better your odds are to get a job there, but you'll still have to work your ass off in 1L to "stand out" of the crowd.

Tell yourself that the market is shit, and a "good job" in Law, BigLaw or not will require you to go to a good school and do well from there, if possible, at the lowest possible cost.

Do everything to NOT pay sticker.


Don't trust the Canadian. He knows not of what he speaks.

Considering many T14's are still managing 40-60% in the worst legal economy in recent memory to NLJ250 firms, I doubt you have to stand out. He also completely misses the boat on LRAPs. Do not do EVERYTHING not to pay sticker if you have to go to a school with a high debt load cutoff for an LRAP with a decent scholarship over a school with a great LRAP at sticker.

ballpop
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby ballpop » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:41 pm

Also, seriously consider GW early...

FADO07
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby FADO07 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:51 pm

ballpop wrote:Also, seriously consider GW early...


Do you think I'd stand a decent change for GW early, given my splitter numbers?
It's a full ride, right?

marburger06
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby marburger06 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:58 pm

TheKingintheNorth wrote:T-14 is not only for Big Law. There are some schools you can make that argument for, I guess, but try telling that to someone at Yale/NYU/Berkels, or really any school other than Chicago (I think they had a grand total of 1 PI/Government job last year).


Not true about the Chicago part. I've heard this quote before, and I'm not sure where the statistic comes from. Maybe it's due to PI people not reporting their employment or something, I dunno. But I know at least 5 people from 2010 and 10 from 2011 from Chicago that went into PI.

Anyway, for OP, I would think carefully about what kind of gov job you want, because that will affect your LRAP eligibility at some schools. Starting salary at a fed gov attorney job is usually around 60K, and the pay scale will take you above 80K within a couple of years. If your school has a salary cap, you'll exceed it fairly quickly. That said, payments will almost certainly be doable under IBR, but it's something to consider.

FADO07
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby FADO07 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:16 pm

A couple of other questions for you guys:
1) For those of you at T-14 schools - do you have any sense of how comfortable people are with the prospect of getting an LRAP qualifying job. (I realize many are gunning for BigLaw or BigFed, and not just any job....)
2) For those who voted that "it depends on which school" - can you provide your reasoning?

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bk1
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby bk1 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:18 pm

FADO07 wrote:
ballpop wrote:Also, seriously consider GW early...


Do you think I'd stand a decent change for GW early, given my splitter numbers?
It's a full ride, right?


It is a full ride but you have almost no chance considering your low GPA. It would be stupid for you to ED to GW.

FADO07
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby FADO07 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:21 pm

bk1 wrote:
FADO07 wrote:
ballpop wrote:Also, seriously consider GW early...


Do you think I'd stand a decent change for GW early, given my splitter numbers?
It's a full ride, right?


It is a full ride but you have almost no chance considering your low GPA. It would be stupid for you to ED to GW.


Any sense of whether there's an effective GPA floor there for EDing?

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bk1
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby bk1 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:24 pm

FADO07 wrote:Any sense of whether there's an effective GPA floor there for EDing?


I'm too lazy to search LSN at the moment but for their RD process they give a $105,000 scholarship out and pretty much the only people to get it were 3.8+/167+. That in my mind serves as a good proxy for the kind of people they want to admit ED and since your GPA doesn't even come close to putting you in play it is a waste to ED there.

FADO07
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby FADO07 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:26 pm

bk1 wrote:
FADO07 wrote:Any sense of whether there's an effective GPA floor there for EDing?


I'm too lazy to search LSN at the moment but for their RD process they give a $105,000 scholarship out and pretty much the only people to get it were 3.8+/167+. That in my mind serves as a good proxy for the kind of people they want to admit ED and since your GPA doesn't even come close to putting you in play it is a waste to ED there.


Thanks - that sounds pretty spot on.

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NYC Law
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby NYC Law » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:47 pm

The only reason to go to a lower ranked school is if theres a decent chance you'll end up wanting to work for a small or 'mid' sized firm. But if you want a public sector job or a biglaw job, it just doesn't make sense to pass up the T14.

FADO07
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby FADO07 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:18 pm

NYC Law wrote:The only reason to go to a lower ranked school is if theres a decent chance you'll end up wanting to work for a small or 'mid' sized firm. But if you want a public sector job or a biglaw job, it just doesn't make sense to pass up the T14.


I think that's a very solid point.
To those who answered "no" in the survey - do you think it makes more sense to take, say 100k of debt at a T30 school instead of, say, 200k at a T14?

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bk1
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby bk1 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:33 pm

FADO07 wrote:
NYC Law wrote:The only reason to go to a lower ranked school is if theres a decent chance you'll end up wanting to work for a small or 'mid' sized firm. But if you want a public sector job or a biglaw job, it just doesn't make sense to pass up the T14.


I think that's a very solid point.
To those who answered "no" in the survey - do you think it makes more sense to take, say 100k of debt at a T30 school instead of, say, 200k at a T14?


I disagree with NYC Law. The main reason to take a lower ranked school is because taking on a lower amount of debt means you have less of a chance of being screwed over by debt. If you have 200k+ debt and you don't get biglaw or a PSLF qualifying job, it is going to take 20+ years to pay off on a smalllaw salary. And make no mistake, there is a significant portion of T14 grads who get neither biglaw nor PSLF qualifying jobs. On the other hand if you go to a lower ranked school and only have 100k debt, the majority of the time you will be debt free in 10 years. The point is that at a lower ranked school with less debt you have a much lower chance of being screwed even if your chance of having the upside (e.g. working biglaw and the prestige/exit opportunities that entails) is far lower as well.

You can't just pit 100k at a T30 versus 200k at a T14, it doesn't work always work like that, especially for you since you're a splitter. As a splitter you aren't very likely to get large scholarships to regional schools. The only schools that do give scholarships to splitters tend to be in the midwest (UIUC/WUSTL/IUB/etc) so if you want to work in NYC/DC/CA/etc you are basically forced to choose between less debt and giving up on your preferred living location and more debt while keeping your living location open as an option.

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NYC Law
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby NYC Law » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:36 pm

bk1 wrote:
FADO07 wrote:
NYC Law wrote:The only reason to go to a lower ranked school is if theres a decent chance you'll end up wanting to work for a small or 'mid' sized firm. But if you want a public sector job or a biglaw job, it just doesn't make sense to pass up the T14.


I think that's a very solid point.
To those who answered "no" in the survey - do you think it makes more sense to take, say 100k of debt at a T30 school instead of, say, 200k at a T14?


I disagree with NYC Law. The main reason to take a lower ranked school is because taking on a lower amount of debt means you have less of a chance of being screwed over by debt. If you have 200k+ debt and you don't get biglaw or a PSLF qualifying job, it is going to take 20+ years to pay off on a smalllaw salary. And make no mistake, there is a significant portion of T14 grads who get neither biglaw nor PSLF qualifying jobs. On the other hand if you go to a lower ranked school and only have 100k debt, the majority of the time you will be debt free in 10 years. The point is that at a lower ranked school with less debt you have a much lower chance of being screwed even if your chance of having the upside (e.g. working biglaw and the prestige/exit opportunities that entails) is far lower as well.

You can't just pit 100k at a T30 versus 200k at a T14, it doesn't work always work like that, especially for you since you're a splitter. As a splitter you aren't very likely to get large scholarships to regional schools. The only schools that do give scholarships to splitters tend to be in the midwest (UIUC/WUSTL/IUB/etc) so if you want to work in NYC/DC/CA/etc you are basically forced to choose between less debt and giving up on your preferred living location and more debt while keeping your living location open as an option.


There may be a significant portion but it's nowhere near a majority that doesn't get a PSLF/Biglaw job (who wanted one). 10-20% tops. The only school I'd be weary about is GULC, possibly Cornell as well. But other than that, T14 is generally a safe bet. Not a sure thing, but as good of odds as you can get.

scammedhard
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Re: Is T14 only for BigLaw?

Postby scammedhard » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:44 pm

OP:

If no Big Law desire, then I suggest turning down a T14 at sticker for a full-ride at the well-respected state school of the area where you'd like to work.

Even with the Big Law salary, after doing the math (taxes, interest, loan payments, cost of living, etc), in most cases the difference between the state school and the T14 is negligible from a financial standpoint.
Last edited by scammedhard on Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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