Help me out TLS!

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

Which school should I pick? (Total COA)

UVA ($155K)
28
43%
Duke ($140K)
24
37%
UPenn ($215K)
7
11%
BU ($90K)
6
9%
 
Total votes: 65

bobbyh1919
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Help me out TLS!

Postby bobbyh1919 » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:07 pm

Hey everybody, looking for some help here. I included the total cost of attendance in parentheses, but the scholarship offers (per year) were UVA=20K, Duke=22.5K, BU=30K if that helps. No real stipulations on any of them. I'm still waiting to hear from UPenn with regards to scholarship, so I will update and clear the poll if they make an offer. Wanted to do this now though as it's getting late in the cycle and I have a couple of deposit deadlines coming up. I also have a full ride at UConn but I'm guessing no one is going to bite at that.

A little bit about me: I'm going K-JD at this point and will almost surely be going to law school next fall. I have some legal work experience, but it's mostly been summer jobs as a file clerk at two different firms, one personal injury and the other real estate.

I'd like to get a firm job upon graduation, preferably in Jersey (my home all my life), Connecticut (home of my SO), or in NYC Big Law as that obviously pays the best and would be in the middle anyway. Would also be open to staying wherever I end up if I like the area and get a good offer. At this point NJ and CT would be the preferred destinations though, and I was hoping the reputation of whatever school I choose could assist me in landing a job in slumping markets.

So please let me know what you think the best option is, what option (if any) I should cross off, and if you think I have leverage to have any of these offers increased (they're all original offers). Thanks guys.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:13 pm

bobbyh1919 wrote:or in NYC Big Law as that obviously pays the best

Just so you know, this isn't really true. Big Law pays pretty much the same in most major cities, and the ones which pay less usually come with a low enough cost of living that it's as if they pay more. In fact, factoring the cost of living in NYC, an associate working in other cities would be making more than someone in NYC.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:13 pm

My opinion: Visit Duke and UVA and choose the school and location that you like better.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:22 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:My opinion: Visit Duke and UVA and choose the school and location that you like better.


I agree. Penn would be ideal given your geographic preferences but unless they step up with a bigger scholarship I can't see that making sense.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby bobbyh1919 » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:11 pm

JusticeHarlan wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:or in NYC Big Law as that obviously pays the best

Just so you know, this isn't really true. Big Law pays pretty much the same in most major cities, and the ones which pay less usually come with a low enough cost of living that it's as if they pay more. In fact, factoring the cost of living in NYC, an associate working in other cities would be making more than someone in NYC.


That's a good point, but I believe there is a good amount of variation among the big firms in secondary markets. I saw a few firms that were paying 145K (which I would certainly prefer), but most others seemed to hover around the 105-115K area. Still great compensation, but I would imagine the NYC folk are still making out better than that. Can anyone speak more to this?

Also, do people think NJ/CT firms would be receptive to me? NJ seems like a good bet as I've lived here my whole life, I'm just wondering how far down the class the best firms would go at a T-14 before they start grabbing up the best RU/SHU kids. What about CT? Is that going to be a sufficient tie or will I be viewed skeptically?

Thanks for the advice everyone.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:22 pm

bobbyh1919 wrote:
JusticeHarlan wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:or in NYC Big Law as that obviously pays the best

Just so you know, this isn't really true. Big Law pays pretty much the same in most major cities, and the ones which pay less usually come with a low enough cost of living that it's as if they pay more. In fact, factoring the cost of living in NYC, an associate working in other cities would be making more than someone in NYC.


That's a good point, but I believe there is a good amount of variation among the big firms in secondary markets. I saw a few firms that were paying 145K (which I would certainly prefer), but most others seemed to hover around the 105-115K area. Still great compensation, but I would imagine the NYC folk are still making out better than that. Can anyone speak more to this?

Also, do people think NJ/CT firms would be receptive to me? NJ seems like a good bet as I've lived here my whole life, I'm just wondering how far down the class the best firms would go at a T-14 before they start grabbing up the best RU/SHU kids. What about CT? Is that going to be a sufficient tie or will I be viewed skeptically?

Thanks for the advice everyone.


Market is 160K, and it will depend on the area on whether the top firms pay market. Example: Top firms in Dallas and Houston pay market, even though COL is substantially less and there is no state income tax. Besides starting salary the net two questions are: 1) what the salary structure is and 2) what the bonus structure is. I think some Texas firms have the same lockstep salary as NYC and bonuses might also be the same, but I think there is a lot more variation on these two things (especially bonuses).

NALP is a good place to start to figure out what the top firms pay in certain areas.

Scottie2Hottie
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby Scottie2Hottie » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:27 pm

Just an example but friend of mine from your area attends duke law and secured a 1L SA in nyc this summer.

timbs4339
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:22 am

bobbyh1919 wrote:
JusticeHarlan wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:or in NYC Big Law as that obviously pays the best

Just so you know, this isn't really true. Big Law pays pretty much the same in most major cities, and the ones which pay less usually come with a low enough cost of living that it's as if they pay more. In fact, factoring the cost of living in NYC, an associate working in other cities would be making more than someone in NYC.


That's a good point, but I believe there is a good amount of variation among the big firms in secondary markets. I saw a few firms that were paying 145K (which I would certainly prefer), but most others seemed to hover around the 105-115K area. Still great compensation, but I would imagine the NYC folk are still making out better than that. Can anyone speak more to this?

Also, do people think NJ/CT firms would be receptive to me? NJ seems like a good bet as I've lived here my whole life, I'm just wondering how far down the class the best firms would go at a T-14 before they start grabbing up the best RU/SHU kids. What about CT? Is that going to be a sufficient tie or will I be viewed skeptically?

Thanks for the advice everyone.


CoL in NYC (Manhattan and the good parts of Brooklyn/Queens) is insane. A friend recently got a job paying 70K in a small southern city. The equivalent salary in NYC is 163K.

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RedBirds2011
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby RedBirds2011 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:04 am

CoL in NYC (Manhattan and the good parts of Brooklyn/Queens) is insane. A friend recently got a job paying 70K in a small southern city. The equivalent salary in NYC is 163K.[/quote]

Wow! That makes small law salaries sound really good for non new York regions...even at levels significantly lower than 70,000

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby JusticeHarlan » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:08 am

RedBirds2011 wrote:
CoL in NYC (Manhattan and the good parts of Brooklyn/Queens) is insane. A friend recently got a job paying 70K in a small southern city. The equivalent salary in NYC is 163K.


Wow! That makes small law salaries sound really good for non new York regions...even at levels significantly lower than 70,000

http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010

gossard267
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby gossard267 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:29 pm

JusticeHarlan wrote:
RedBirds2011 wrote:
CoL in NYC (Manhattan and the good parts of Brooklyn/Queens) is insane. A friend recently got a job paying 70K in a small southern city. The equivalent salary in NYC is 163K.


Wow! That makes small law salaries sound really good for non new York regions...even at levels significantly lower than 70,000

http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010


Note that this probably understates the differences, since the scale only incorporates variances in goods and services. It does not factor in differences in tax rates. Given that NYC (and nearby NJ) have very high taxes, while, for instance, Texas doesn't have any income tax, the difference in purchasing power is likely even higher.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby bobbyh1919 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:14 pm

gossard267 wrote:
JusticeHarlan wrote:
RedBirds2011 wrote:
CoL in NYC (Manhattan and the good parts of Brooklyn/Queens) is insane. A friend recently got a job paying 70K in a small southern city. The equivalent salary in NYC is 163K.


Wow! That makes small law salaries sound really good for non new York regions...even at levels significantly lower than 70,000

http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010


Note that this probably understates the differences, since the scale only incorporates variances in goods and services. It does not factor in differences in tax rates. Given that NYC (and nearby NJ) have very high taxes, while, for instance, Texas doesn't have any income tax, the difference in purchasing power is likely even higher.


That's a much wider gap in purchasing power than I ever could have guessed. Makes jobs in secondary markets look quite attractive, although I understand they can be much more difficult to get and require ties, etc.

If Penn were to roughly match my UVA/Duke offers, would they have a leg up or would this still fall within the realm of choosing whichever school I like the best?

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby yngblkgifted » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:20 pm

Clearly, the University of Virginia School of Law is the credited response.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby bobbyh1919 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:31 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:Clearly, the University of Virginia School of Law is the credited response.


Care to elaborate?

chiwachiwa
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby chiwachiwa » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:33 pm

bobbyh1919 wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:Clearly, the University of Virginia School of Law is the credited response.


Care to elaborate?

All these are, more or less, peers. There are fine variations between them, especially with respect to geography, but there is no real reason to go to Penn over the other two for an extra $50k+. Paying $15k more for UVA than Duke is, however, justifiable for UVA's superior placement.

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Nelson
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby Nelson » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:49 pm

chiwachiwa wrote:Paying $15k more for UVA than Duke is, however, justifiable for UVA's superior placement.

Questionable assumption about UVA's superior placement. I would just follow the money assuming NYC is the goal.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby yngblkgifted » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:55 pm

chiwachiwa wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:Clearly, the University of Virginia School of Law is the credited response.


Care to elaborate?

All these are, more or less, peers. There are fine variations between them, especially with respect to geography, but there is no real reason to go to Penn over the other two for an extra $50k+. Paying $15k more for UVA than Duke is, however, justifiable for UVA's superior placement.


Couldn't have said it better myself. Hope that helps, OP.

dabbadon8
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby dabbadon8 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:01 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:
chiwachiwa wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:Clearly, the University of Virginia School of Law is the credited response.


Care to elaborate?

All these are, more or less, peers. There are fine variations between them, especially with respect to geography, but there is no real reason to go to Penn over the other two for an extra $50k+. Paying $15k more for UVA than Duke is, however, justifiable for UVA's superior placement.


Couldn't have said it better myself. Hope that helps, OP.


http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 2543436520

Superior Placement? Placement is the same. Go back and look at the numbers over the last couple years. This also includes clerkships. If you do find a statistically significant difference I bet you it isn't worth 15k. Now if you happen to like UVA 15k more (or w/e the actual COA difference is) then by all means go there. Just don't pay 15k for a nonexistent difference in placement.

HeavenWood
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby HeavenWood » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:13 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:My opinion: Visit Duke and UVA and choose the school and location that you like better.


I agree. Penn would be ideal given your geographic preferences but unless they step up with a bigger scholarship I can't see that making sense.

Given your career goals, I would pay somewhat more for Penn than UVA, but definitely not 60k more.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby bobbyh1919 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:22 pm

Does anyone think BU would respond favorably to me asking them to up their $30K/year offer because of my offers from UVA ($20/K year) and Duke ($22.5K/year)? It's about a 75% scholarship so I'd feel bad about asking them to increase such a generous offer, but at this point I'm leaning toward UVA/Duke/Penn and figure it can't hurt.

Also, on a related note, would BU at something close to a full ride change the picture here, or would you all recommend I just withdraw that application?

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Nelson
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Re: Help me out TLS!

Postby Nelson » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:28 pm

bobbyh1919 wrote:Does anyone think BU would respond favorably to me asking them to up their $30K/year offer because of my offers from UVA ($20/K year) and Duke ($22.5K/year)? It's about a 75% scholarship so I'd feel bad about asking them to increase such a generous offer, but at this point I'm leaning toward UVA/Duke/Penn and figure it can't hurt.

Also, on a related note, would BU at something close to a full ride change the picture here, or would you all recommend I just withdraw that application?

BU is only worth it if you would prefer any legal job in Boston to relocating for biglaw somewhere else. You have solid T14 scholarships so I wouldn't personally consider BU even with a full ride. Maybe T14 sticker vs. BU full ride, but with 60k, just enjoy UVA or Duke.




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