Chicago, Cornell, or BU

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Br3v
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby Br3v » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:28 pm

Blindmelon wrote:Boston firms will love you from Chicago.... seriously. If you have ties, Chicago hands down. Only reason to take BU is if they offered you one of those full tuition + living stipend deals.


do you know what numbers qualify for this typically?

kaiser
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby kaiser » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:31 pm

How much UG debt are we talking about, OP?

kerrigaa
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby kerrigaa » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:07 pm

My UG debt isn't substantial. Somewhere between $15-25k. From what I've read, it's ignorant to assume that I'll be in the top *insert % here* of my class no matter where I go. One could assume I'd be at the top ~15% of BU and get biglaw after graduation, but with that same argument I could also be at the top ~15% of Chicago which I would assume would open me to a lot more options than BU. In the same respect, I could be below median at BU or Chicago. Possibly jobless out of BU with 105k(plus interest) in debt or still have some chance at biglaw out of Chicago with 250k in debt (plan B being Public Interest and LRAP). $250k in debt just means I buy one less Ferrari than I anticipated over my lifetime, right? :lol:

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thexfactor
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby thexfactor » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:37 pm

Id do Chicago. Chicago prob gives you a 80% chance of getting a good job that can pay loans off. The question is whether you are willing to gamble 120k and take a 30% chance of BU working out for you. In a sense you are sacrificing almost 50% of success for 120k.

IMO the risk is just too great of not getting a job. I would choose Chicago or maybe Cornell if you are slightly more debt adverse.

kaiser
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby kaiser » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:45 pm

So the total debt you would have to your name would be be approximately 275K. I would be happy to pose that hypo to a number of lawyers I know, and I'm almost certain they would say you are crazy if you did that, even the ones who went to top schools.

kerrigaa
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby kerrigaa » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:57 am

So are the only schools worth sticker HYS? That just seems absurd to me.

kaiser
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby kaiser » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:09 am

kerrigaa wrote:So are the only schools worth sticker HYS? That just seems absurd to me.


Doesn't seem like an absurd proposition at all, and I think there are a number of people who would agree that paying sticker for anything short of HYS isn't a great idea. Whether or not paying full sticker price for CCN is justified is a more on-the-fence issue, and there are obviously people on both sides. You obviously know which side I fall on in that debate (and this is coming from someone who goes to one of CCN). It just seems like having 275K of debt in one's 20's is to take on a crippling burden that even a biglaw job can't easily push away. I mean, thats payments of over 2K a month every month for 25 years. So given that people tend to stay in biglaw for a very short period of time, how exactly would that be paid off? Sure, someone saying "only HYS is worth sticker" may sound absurd to you, but hearing someone say "I'm paying 2K a month for 25 years" sounds absurd to me.

kerrigaa
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby kerrigaa » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:40 am

I'm not sure exactly what the interest rates are but 2k/month for 25 years comes out to $600k? I'm not discrediting anything you've said or even that I know which is the right decision, hence why I'm asking for insight. But the shot at big law from Chicago compared to BU seems like it's worth the extra $100k. And like I said before maybe I'll want to work in Public Interest which will reduce the monthly payment considerably. Yes, I'm in my 20s and it's probably true I don't completely comprehend what 250k in debt is. In material terms let's say I'm going to buy a house and instead of buying the 750k one, I'm stuck buying a 500k cause I have 250k in loans. It doesn't seem that bad to me. That could be a completely off base comparison so correct me if I'm wrong.

kaiser
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby kaiser » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:49 am

kerrigaa wrote:I'm not sure exactly what the interest rates are but 2k/month for 25 years comes out to $600k? I'm not discrediting anything you've said or even that I know which is the right decision, hence why I'm asking for insight. But the shot at big law from Chicago compared to BU seems like it's worth the extra $100k. And like I said before maybe I'll want to work in Public Interest which will reduce the monthly payment considerably. Yes, I'm in my 20s and it's probably true I don't completely comprehend what 250k in debt is. In material terms let's say I'm going to buy a house and instead of buying the 750k one, I'm stuck buying a 500k cause I have 250k in loans. It doesn't seem that bad to me. That could be a completely off base comparison so correct me if I'm wrong.


For the debt calculation, I plugged in an interest rate of 7% (275K loans over 25 years). To be fair, idk what the interest rates are on these loans. Perhaps they are less.

I mean, if biglaw really is your only goal, and the only reason you are going to law school, then yeah, Chicago obviously offers you the much better chance. I started at BU for a year, and transferred to my CCN, so I don't know all that much about the BU hiring situation. I know that pretty much every law review kid (which roughly correlates to about the top 10%) is entirely set with biglaw in various cities (mostly Boston and NYC). Outside of that, its more sporadic, though I'd say in total it came out somewhere in the range of 20-25% of the class. Not quite as bad at the bloodbath of 2009, but not up to par with the 1/3 chance BU used to give.

I would talk to practicing lawyers and see what they say about the choice. Make sure to speak with some younger lawyers who will be more familiar with the sky-high prices, huge debt loads, etc.

kerrigaa
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby kerrigaa » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:09 am

I feel like Biglaw would have to be my only goal from BU to pay off those loans. Chicago seems to leave me with more options due to their LRAP and the larger chance at biglaw.

Just checked out a loan calculator with the 7%/25 years like you used. BU is about 60k/yr COA for 180-75k scholly+25k current loans=130k and a monthly payment of ~954. Chicago is roughly 70k/yr COA+25 current loans= 235k and a monthly payment of ~1660. If the chances of getting Biglaw out of BU are roughly 30% and the chances of biglaw from Chicago are roughly 70%(not sure if this is true, just going by what was in this thread) then my chances of making biglaw from Chicago seem pretty equal to my chances of not making it at BU. I'd rather pay 1660 a month on a 160k salary than 954 a month on a 60-80k salary.

Edit: It's late and I don't like numbers right now.

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clarion
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby clarion » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:37 am

Ugh. I'm not gonna pretend like I'm a finance major, but based on your analysis and what I was able to calculate using finaid.org, I just can't imagine being SO okay with paying back loans for 25 years! Assuming you're the same age as me, that means you'll be giving up close to 40,000 dollars of your salary a year until you're 50.

50.

That's insane. I mean, I think the key here is to really look at the LRAPs and use that to help you decide cause that can make a HUGE difference since that's an option for you. And as far as ruling out GULC is concerned, from what I hear, they have one of THE BEST LRAP programs in the country, so I'm not really sure you should totally rule them out? But hey, maybe Chicago's is better. I really don't know much about them as a school (got WL'd).

My point is (I guess), that it is A LOT of debt to have at 25 years old, and god forbid you hate big law (for some reason lol :P) with that much debt. Also know, that I got my financial aid stuff back from GULC recently and about half of my loans will be at the 6.9 fixed interest rate, and about half at the 7.9 percent rate. So assuming the higher rate, this is what finaid.org says about it

"It is estimated that you will need an annual salary of at least $252,517.20 to be able to afford to repay this loan. This estimate assumes that 10% of your gross monthly income will be devoted to repaying your student loans. This corresponds to a debt-to-income ratio of 1.1. If you use 15% of your gross monthly income to repay the loan, you will need an annual salary of only $168,344.80, but you may experience some financial difficulty.This corresponds to a debt-to-income ratio of 1.6."

Now I don't really know what all that means (music major), but it doesn't sound cute... Just sayin.

kerrigaa
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby kerrigaa » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:21 am

I wasn't saying I plan to take 25 years to pay these loans back. I was just comparing BU to Chicago using the numbers kaiser used. Making 160k/yr I could pay 55k a year for 5 years and still live comfortably.

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clarion
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby clarion » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:21 pm

kerrigaa wrote:I wasn't saying I plan to take 25 years to pay these loans back. I was just comparing BU to Chicago using the numbers kaiser used. Making 160k/yr I could pay 55k a year for 5 years and still live comfortably.


You know, perhaps you can. I don't know what standard of living you're looking to have out of law school. Personally, I couldn't imagine giving up 1/3 of my yearly salary to loans. Not to mention the amount you have to give to taxes, and social security. Then add your house and car and insurance, medical and other bills and it just seems like that doesn't leave a whole bunch of money for divertimento. Which is important to me. But! In the long run, once those loans are gone you'll probably be happy you chose UChi. Especially if you happen to get a kick out of the big law lifestyle.

But yeah, as you know, it's an extremely personal decision in the end. I was just trying to offer some statistically negative aspects to choosing Chicago because, of course, the debt would be THE ONLY reason one wouldn't go there over BU. But if the debt is fine to you, then have fun in Illinois! I'll (most likely) be envying you from DC :P

Additionally, if you haven't already, I'd go to finaid.org and look at some of the stuff they say about loan repayment and look at their calculators and all that. It actually bolstered my (pending) decision to accept the scholarship GULC gave me, and maybe it'll help you feel even more comfortable about going to Chicago at sticker :)

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby DaftAndDirect » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:36 pm

kerrigaa wrote:I wasn't saying I plan to take 25 years to pay these loans back. I was just comparing BU to Chicago using the numbers kaiser used. Making 160k/yr I could pay 55k a year for 5 years and still live comfortably.


I think most 0Ls (myself included) underestimate how difficult it is going to be to dedicate a third of your income to student loan payments when you are working brutal big law hours. After so many weeks in the office until midnight, I imagine many of us would start convincing ourselves that we've finally earned the right to treat ourselves to a <insert luxury item here> after how much work we've put in. After three years of law school, working 80 hours a week doing mindless drone work to effectively earn a 65-75k salary is going to suck a lotof ass, and will probably have at least some effect on the focus and willpower required to pay down loans in such a short time.

Not saying this is guaranteed to happen to you, but I just think it's a point that is understated on TLS.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:57 pm

DaftAndDirect wrote:
kerrigaa wrote:I wasn't saying I plan to take 25 years to pay these loans back. I was just comparing BU to Chicago using the numbers kaiser used. Making 160k/yr I could pay 55k a year for 5 years and still live comfortably.


I think most 0Ls (myself included) underestimate how difficult it is going to be to dedicate a third of your income to student loan payments when you are working brutal big law hours. After so many weeks in the office until midnight, I imagine many of us would start convincing ourselves that we've finally earned the right to treat ourselves to a <insert luxury item here> after how much work we've put in. After three years of law school, working 80 hours a week doing mindless drone work to effectively earn a 65-75k salary is going to suck a lotof ass, and will probably have at least some effect on the focus and willpower required to pay down loans in such a short time.

Not saying this is guaranteed to happen to you, but I just think it's a point that is understated on TLS.


The best part is that 55K is more than half of your after-tax income at 160K.

kerrigaa
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby kerrigaa » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:33 pm

Cornell just offered 15k/yr scholarship.

woeisme
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby woeisme » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:41 pm

kerrigaa wrote:Cornell just offered 15k/yr scholarship.


So 45k from Cornell? I think I'd probably take that; Cornell pretty regularly sends people to Boston. I'd venture to guess that Chicago would get you there as well, but Cornell might be more logical given the scholly.

kerrigaa
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby kerrigaa » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:49 pm

I think Cornell COA is ~75k, whereas Chicago is ~71k. So the difference is about 33k, not 45k.
Also I visited Chicago and seemed to really like the atmosphere and city. I'll be headed to Ithaca next week for the ASD and I'm hoping that will help me finalize my decision.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby TaipeiMort » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:54 pm

I am just going to say that the only place better than Chicago with ties to Boston would be Yale with ties for Boston. The question here about Boston is which school has the lowest amount of competition for number of available Boston spots. Chicago has few trying for Boston and many Boston spots (firms at OCI would allow interviews for Boston offices, but most people filled those slots with other market interviews). I actually used this strategy to get CBs to the rarer markets-- make sure you are the only one on the schedule interviewing for that location and you have a money chance at a CB.

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Dany
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby Dany » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:55 pm

woeisme wrote:
kerrigaa wrote:Cornell just offered 15k/yr scholarship.


So 45k from Cornell? I think I'd probably take that; Cornell pretty regularly sends people to Boston. I'd venture to guess that Chicago would get you there as well, but Cornell might be more logical given the scholly.

I dunno, man. Total COA (roughly, not taking into account interest or tuition increases or anything) + UG debt leaves OP with debt of $194k v. $228k (Cornell v. Chicago). Both those numbers leave him needing biglaw or using LRAP to service the debt, so at that point I think Chicago's superior placement is worth the extra $34k since either way the debt is astronomical.

OP have you thought about retaking? I know it's annoying echo-chamber TLS advice, but with a couple points higher you could be looking at a $60k+ scholarship at a place like Chicago. With your GPA I would strongly advise you to consider it.

Edit - I just saw your post about the retake. I very, very strongly believe it's something you should make time for.

woeisme
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby woeisme » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:01 pm

Dany wrote:
I dunno, man. Total COA (roughly, not taking into account interest or tuition increases or anything) + UG debt leaves OP with debt of $194k v. $228k (Cornell v. Chicago). Both those numbers leave him needing biglaw or using LRAP to service the debt, so at that point I think Chicago's superior placement is worth the extra $34k since either way the debt is astronomical.


I concur if it is in fact true that Chicago has superior placement for the Boston region. I'm not saying that it does or that it doesn't. I mean Cornell also has a bunch of Boston firms come to the OCI and it also is among the less popular (but still regularly represented) locations.

If they're placement strength is pretty comparable in Boston (which I was thinking would be the case), I opted Cornell for the savings. Either way.

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Dany
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby Dany » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:03 pm

Yeah but with ~$200k in debt you need other options in case Boston biglaw doesn't work out.

woeisme
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby woeisme » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:11 pm

Dany wrote:Yeah but with ~$200k in debt you need other options in case Boston biglaw doesn't work out.


Right, but Cornell does have these other options. If (1) OP's second choice market were Chicago; (2) OP were serious about pursuing academia or clerkships; or (3) Chicago threw some money to match Cornell's offer, then I'd recommend Chicago. But because I think Cornell's placement is comparable to Chicago's for the general east coast and because it has offered more money, it seems more attractive to me.

In any case, I think that EITHER Chicago or Cornell would be better than BU.

kerrigaa
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby kerrigaa » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:32 pm

Dany wrote:
woeisme wrote:
kerrigaa wrote:
Edit - I just saw your post about the retake. I very, very strongly believe it's something you should make time for.


Well if I take a year off I have to work in order to live and pay off the UG loans which will start because I won't be enrolled in classes anymore. Working 40-60hrs a week does not leave much time for studying and the studying I would do would most likely be half-assed. Like I said I already tried studying while working (157) and then I studied while in school (168). The quality of studying while I'm working is not nearly as good as while I'm at school. Working would be a necessity if I take a year off. I also can't guarantee I'll get a better score. In my mind the pros do not outweigh the cons.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Chicago, Cornell, or BU

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:36 pm

TaipeiMort wrote:I am just going to say that the only place better than Chicago with ties to Boston would be Yale with ties for Boston. The question here about Boston is which school has the lowest amount of competition for number of available Boston spots. Chicago has few trying for Boston and many Boston spots (firms at OCI would allow interviews for Boston offices, but most people filled those slots with other market interviews). I actually used this strategy to get CBs to the rarer markets-- make sure you are the only one on the schedule interviewing for that location and you have a money chance at a CB.


Are people really going to let this one go?




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