Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

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soj
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby soj » Thu May 03, 2012 2:36 pm

Stanford LRAP covers undergrad debt but you'd have to go into PI to qualify.

Total CoA is probably something like $115-125K for Berkeley and $200-210K for Stanford. Both are pretty bad considering the UG debt, but Berkeley seems less terrible. You could still make Stanford work since you're basically guaranteed biglaw, but you're right about thinking you'll have to be frugal.

nleefer
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby nleefer » Thu May 03, 2012 3:08 pm

bromance wrote:As far as career goes, i haven't worked in law at all so I don't really know how I would like biglaw, but based on what I've heard/knowing my personality I probably won't like it...although I worked at a job I hated for a year for a very low salary (dysfunctional non-proffit w/an uninspiring mission) so I know what it feels like to not like what your doing and feel certain I can suck it up for a few years.

Regardless of where I go to school/how much i owe at graduation, I have no intention of sticking to a 10 yr repayment schedule out of the gate...will definitely be hitting the debt hard for a few years (i'm thinking 3-4 big law then assesing my opitions if I end up hating it) live like I'm making $30K and get that paid down to something reasonable - which seems feasible to me, thoughts?


This is a pretty big deal. Don't underestimate the difficulty in paying off $225k+ in loans even on a biglaw salary. The amount you would have to pay every month to pay off your loans in 3-4 years is beyond what most people can do. Furthermore, do you really want to be handcuffed to a job you hate for years because you get to tell people you went to Stanford?

Also keep in mind that even if you don't hate biglaw, the average biglaw attorney is out within 3-5 years. That means even if you can last that long without wanting to kill yourself, you will need to plan to have your loans largely repaid by that point.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby moneybagsphd » Thu May 03, 2012 3:12 pm

Stanford, fuck Boalt.

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hung jury
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby hung jury » Thu May 03, 2012 3:41 pm

nleefer wrote:
bromance wrote:As far as career goes, i haven't worked in law at all so I don't really know how I would like biglaw, but based on what I've heard/knowing my personality I probably won't like it...although I worked at a job I hated for a year for a very low salary (dysfunctional non-proffit w/an uninspiring mission) so I know what it feels like to not like what your doing and feel certain I can suck it up for a few years.

Regardless of where I go to school/how much i owe at graduation, I have no intention of sticking to a 10 yr repayment schedule out of the gate...will definitely be hitting the debt hard for a few years (i'm thinking 3-4 big law then assesing my opitions if I end up hating it) live like I'm making $30K and get that paid down to something reasonable - which seems feasible to me, thoughts?


This is a pretty big deal. Don't underestimate the difficulty in paying off $225k+ in loans even on a biglaw salary. The amount you would have to pay every month to pay off your loans in 3-4 years is beyond what most people can do. Furthermore, do you really want to be handcuffed to a job you hate for years because you get to tell people you went to Stanford?

Also keep in mind that even if you don't hate biglaw, the average biglaw attorney is out within 3-5 years. That means even if you can last that long without wanting to kill yourself, you will need to plan to have your loans largely repaid by that point.


At Stanford this isn't really true -- if you flame out of biglaw and still have loans that qualify, you can enter LRAP by taking a public interest / private public interest position. This is assuming you aren't taking another well-paying private position.

OP, I'd look at the two LRAP plans very carefully to weight the costs and benefits (particularly as regards that 60k of undergrad debt) and see what kind of safety net they provide for people in your position. I also think the risk of going to Berk. and not getting biglaw is pretty significant given the debt you'll still need to take on--120k is clearly not a full-tuition grant, particularly given Berkeley's tuition hikes as of late.

operagrl71
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby operagrl71 » Thu May 03, 2012 6:19 pm

hung jury wrote:
nleefer wrote:
bromance wrote:As far as career goes, i haven't worked in law at all so I don't really know how I would like biglaw, but based on what I've heard/knowing my personality I probably won't like it...although I worked at a job I hated for a year for a very low salary (dysfunctional non-proffit w/an uninspiring mission) so I know what it feels like to not like what your doing and feel certain I can suck it up for a few years.

Regardless of where I go to school/how much i owe at graduation, I have no intention of sticking to a 10 yr repayment schedule out of the gate...will definitely be hitting the debt hard for a few years (i'm thinking 3-4 big law then assesing my opitions if I end up hating it) live like I'm making $30K and get that paid down to something reasonable - which seems feasible to me, thoughts?


This is a pretty big deal. Don't underestimate the difficulty in paying off $225k+ in loans even on a biglaw salary. The amount you would have to pay every month to pay off your loans in 3-4 years is beyond what most people can do. Furthermore, do you really want to be handcuffed to a job you hate for years because you get to tell people you went to Stanford?

Also keep in mind that even if you don't hate biglaw, the average biglaw attorney is out within 3-5 years. That means even if you can last that long without wanting to kill yourself, you will need to plan to have your loans largely repaid by that point.


At Stanford this isn't really true -- if you flame out of biglaw and still have loans that qualify, you can enter LRAP by taking a public interest / private public interest position. This is assuming you aren't taking another well-paying private position.

OP, I'd look at the two LRAP plans very carefully to weight the costs and benefits (particularly as regards that 60k of undergrad debt) and see what kind of safety net they provide for people in your position. I also think the risk of going to Berk. and not getting biglaw is pretty significant given the debt you'll still need to take on--120k is clearly not a full-tuition grant, particularly given Berkeley's tuition hikes as of late.


+1 - The possibility of striking out at Berkeley and still having $200K in total debt should be a very real consideration...I don't think it's unreasonable to argue that the security that Stanford provides is potentially worth the extra money.

*Edit: Also, assuming OP ends up median-ish at Berkeley/has no ties to other major markets, isn't there a strong possibility that he might end up with NY biglaw as his only option? Maybe someone with more knowledge about the California legal market can weigh-in...
Last edited by operagrl71 on Thu May 03, 2012 6:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

JasonR
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby JasonR » Thu May 03, 2012 6:30 pm

redbullvodka wrote:
JasonR wrote:Congrats on your acceptances!

So your combined educational debt after graduating from Stanford would be around $275K (since that UG debt will keep growing). That would scare the living shit out of me. I'm just guessing, since I don't know the exact interest rates, but you'll probably come out paying about $390K on that $275K when interest is added in. You'll be coughing up $3,250 per month for 10 years to pay that off. Jesus. Think about that.

I'm probably being irrational, because the debt picture out of Berkeley (~$1,800 per month for 10 years) is still pretty scary with your UG debt, but I couldn't handle having that total debt load out of Stanford. Holy shit, that's terrifying.


This is where I think TLS risk aversion gets a bit irrational -- it's Stanford. I think it's worth an extra 120K. I truly think HYS is always worth sticker, absent full rides/stipends from CCNP.


If it were Stanford by itself, then I would agree. I'm not that debt-averse.

But it's not Stanford by itself. It's Stanford with an additional $60K in UG debt that will actually be an additional ~$73K in UG debt as he or she finishes law school. When you're talking debt loads approaching $300K before interest is even included, then some uneasiness is warranted. I sometimes think that people here don't have much of an understanding of living under great debt or the fact that we're not talking Monopoly dollars. Having to meet a $3,250 payment every month for 10 years is soul-crushing stuff.

Golden Bear 11
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby Golden Bear 11 » Thu May 03, 2012 7:11 pm

Teach/GSI undergrad courses while at Boalt. It pays I think about 1700 per month and you get some tution/fee waiver also. Berkeley has a Legal Studies major for undergrad and from my understanding, most of the GSIs/TAs are law students.

That + a good chance at Biglaw at Berkeley (pay from SA won't cut into scholarship as it would for grant at Stanford) = go to Berkeley.

DBishops
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Re: Stanford $16K [1st year] vs Berkeley $120K

Postby DBishops » Thu May 03, 2012 7:16 pm

nleefer wrote:
bromance wrote:As far as career goes, i haven't worked in law at all so I don't really know how I would like biglaw, but based on what I've heard/knowing my personality I probably won't like it...although I worked at a job I hated for a year for a very low salary (dysfunctional non-proffit w/an uninspiring mission) so I know what it feels like to not like what your doing and feel certain I can suck it up for a few years.

Regardless of where I go to school/how much i owe at graduation, I have no intention of sticking to a 10 yr repayment schedule out of the gate...will definitely be hitting the debt hard for a few years (i'm thinking 3-4 big law then assesing my opitions if I end up hating it) live like I'm making $30K and get that paid down to something reasonable - which seems feasible to me, thoughts?


This is a pretty big deal. Don't underestimate the difficulty in paying off $225k+ in loans even on a biglaw salary. The amount you would have to pay every month to pay off your loans in 3-4 years is beyond what most people can do. Furthermore, do you really want to be handcuffed to a job you hate for years because you get to tell people you went to Stanford?

Also keep in mind that even if you don't hate biglaw, the average biglaw attorney is out within 3-5 years. That means even if you can last that long without wanting to kill yourself, you will need to plan to have your loans largely repaid by that point.



How much would it be exactly a month to pay of full COA at Stanford? I think you are exaggerating the difficulty if you get Big Law. Now, if you dont like Big LAw and would rather do PI, then its a wash, since the LRAP will cover it. I think this decision primarily rides on how much OP wants Big Law or PI. If its big law, go Berk, in case you HATE big law, and will have significantly less debt. If you want PI, go Stanford, and the option of Big Law will still be there.




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