W&M ($) v. NUSL ($) v. BC (nada)

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

Where Should I Go?

Poll ended at Wed May 02, 2012 12:02 pm

W&M (8k)
5
83%
NUSL (10K)
0
No votes
BC (nada)
1
17%
 
Total votes: 6

User avatar
eringobragh
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:51 pm

W&M ($) v. NUSL ($) v. BC (nada)

Postby eringobragh » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:02 pm

Long time listener, first time caller. I’m down to considering the following:

-William & Mary (8k/yr as long as I’m out of state, no stips)
-Northeastern (10k/yr, no stips)
-Boston College (nothing)

I have no real preference about where I want to end up after law school, but I am from the DC suburbs and have ties in DC and NYC. I wouldn’t mind living/having a career in Boston, since I find it to be so much like a DC or NYC. I would like to clerk after law school or go into public interest work if i can’t get a clerkship (international human rights I believe, but something related to international work). I worked at a public defender’s office during one summer and I loved it, but the following year I worked at a large international law firm in their tax law division and I really liked the work there too. So, basically, I want a school that’s able to be well-rounded so I can feel-out where I want to end up.

I visited NU and I absolutely loved the atmosphere there, and I’ve had most of my concerns about the co-op program and the non-grading allayed (I think). Conversely, I really enjoyed my visit to W&M -- it’s a small, engaging and friendly community, and of course, it also has a beautiful atmosphere.

I’ve heard that we can’t trust IBR to be there when we graduate, but I’d like to get an opinion about that too. I’m wary of taking out huge loans, but if there’s this kind of program available after graduation, I might not quibble that much about a school with [overall] 30k more debt than another (dangerous thinking I know).

Also, I’m waitlisted at Vanderbilt, WUSTL, UC Irvine & GW. Should I fight to get on from one or more of these? Lastly, I’m very happy with the choices I have, so I’m not retaking. T-14 or Bust just isn’t me.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: W&M ($) v. NUSL ($) v. BC (nada)

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:18 pm

eringobragh wrote:Long time listener, first time caller. I’m down to considering the following:

-William & Mary (8k/yr as long as I’m out of state, no stips)
-Northeastern (10k/yr, no stips)
-Boston College (nothing)

I have no real preference about where I want to end up after law school, but I am from the DC suburbs and have ties in DC and NYC. I wouldn’t mind living/having a career in Boston, since I find it to be so much like a DC or NYC. I would like to clerk after law school or go into public interest work if i can’t get a clerkship (international human rights I believe, but something related to international work). I worked at a public defender’s office during one summer and I loved it, but the following year I worked at a large international law firm in their tax law division and I really liked the work there too. So, basically, I want a school that’s able to be well-rounded so I can feel-out where I want to end up.

I visited NU and I absolutely loved the atmosphere there, and I’ve had most of my concerns about the co-op program and the non-grading allayed (I think). Conversely, I really enjoyed my visit to W&M -- it’s a small, engaging and friendly community, and of course, it also has a beautiful atmosphere.

I’ve heard that we can’t trust IBR to be there when we graduate, but I’d like to get an opinion about that too. I’m wary of taking out huge loans, but if there’s this kind of program available after graduation, I might not quibble that much about a school with [overall] 30k more debt than another (dangerous thinking I know).

Also, I’m waitlisted at Vanderbilt, WUSTL, UC Irvine & GW. Should I fight to get on from one or more of these? Lastly, I’m very happy with the choices I have, so I’m not retaking. T-14 or Bust just isn’t me.


From NE and W+M it is doubtful you will be able to get international biglaw, a clerkship (unless with a state trial court judge), or any kind of international human rights work. These are not schools where people are picking a field to go into, they are schools where the majority of people are taking the first legal or non-legal job they can find that will pay the bills. The best or most likely option (other than getting a biglaw job) would be to get some kind of state or local government job and take advantage of the 10 year Public Service Loan Forgiveness program or your school's LRAP.

You are right to be wary of IBR. We can only speculate, but there is a non-negligible chance IBR will not be around in 20 years in the current political climate and the absolute powerlessness of students as an interest group. Even if IBR exists, the system was not created with law students in mind- law students routinely graduate with over 150K in debt, in the top 1% or 0.5% of student loan debt holders. Under IBR and with a 40-50K salary (the most likely option from NE and W+M), your interest will be higher than your monthly payments - the government only forgives interest for the first three years in the program and with 150K in debt you will be paying for much longer than three years unless you hit the biglaw lottery. That means that your loan balance will grow if you stay on IBR to the point where taking a slightly higher paying private sector job would not be worth it because now you have to pay the bigger balance.

I would not go with this slate of schools and scholarships. If you have to go (gun to head) I would do BC, as the chance of hitting biglaw is measurably better and your chance of finding a local or state gov job is also better. It really is a binary proposition between biglaw/qualifying PI or gov't or low paying job with no loan assistance, and the extra 30K of relief from NE or W+M is not enough to overcome their abysmal job placement.

wired
Posts: 472
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:29 pm

Re: W&M ($) v. NUSL ($) v. BC (nada)

Postby wired » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:10 pm

Disclaimer: W&M 2L here.

I'll just point out that the different between BC and W&M will be much more than just $30k after you consider differences in tuition (W&M is $7k less, plus the $8k scholarship makes it $45,000) and the cost of living (report by the schools is a difference of $4,000 per year; in reality, the difference is probably more, but a conservative guess would be about $15,000 in Boston over three years).

So you're really looking at about double the the difference you were thinking. Not the end-all, be-all of anything, but you should factor a $60k difference in to attendance at BC, not $30k.

As far as firms in the 100+ range, BC definitely beats W&M in Class of 2010 data (latest BC had available); it put in 34.7% while W&M put in 16.4%. You don't seem to be gunning for a big firm, which is really where BC has its competitive edge so I would take into account the price difference between the two.

More importantly, I'd consider some other factors like environment you want during law school (Williamsburg and Chestnut Hill are radically different from each other) and regional considerations (if you end up median at other one of those schools, you are more likely to end up in the region you're going to school).




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