CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

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

Where should I go?

USC (w/120k)
42
57%
Columbia (Sticker)
32
43%
 
Total votes: 74

Puttanesca
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:10 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby Puttanesca » Wed May 23, 2012 11:19 am

newpoaster wrote:From CA, want to work in CA, otherwise no specific career goals (horror stories of biglaw make me think I might not be cut out for it... don't have the work ethic).
COA (before interest): USC 50k, Columbia 160k


If you think you might not be cut out for biglaw, go to USC. You will pretty much have to get a biglaw job in order to pay down the 160K debt at Columbia.

newpoaster
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:56 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby newpoaster » Wed May 23, 2012 12:52 pm

Puttanesca wrote:
newpoaster wrote:From CA, want to work in CA, otherwise no specific career goals (horror stories of biglaw make me think I might not be cut out for it... don't have the work ethic).
COA (before interest): USC 50k, Columbia 160k


If you think you might not be cut out for biglaw, go to USC. You will pretty much have to get a biglaw job in order to pay down the 160K debt at Columbia.

Yeah, it's hard to know whether or not I'll be cut out for the job without knowing what it entails. Part of the problem is that there aren't a lot of decent, non-biglaw, law jobs. I am going to LS with the hope of launching a legal career after all.

UPDATE: I tried to get USC to increase my award (based on multiple acceptances and scholarships), but was unsuccessful. I'm really not sure what to do. I tentatively accepted Columbia's offer. However, this thread concerns me. I really liked USC when I visited; I know I'd be happy there. I haven't had an opportunity to visit Columbia, but I've heard from current students that the gunner-ish reputation is undeserved. Any current USC/Columbia students care to weigh in?

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

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby timbs4339 » Wed May 23, 2012 1:47 pm

newpoaster wrote:
Puttanesca wrote:
newpoaster wrote:From CA, want to work in CA, otherwise no specific career goals (horror stories of biglaw make me think I might not be cut out for it... don't have the work ethic).
COA (before interest): USC 50k, Columbia 160k


If you think you might not be cut out for biglaw, go to USC. You will pretty much have to get a biglaw job in order to pay down the 160K debt at Columbia.

Yeah, it's hard to know whether or not I'll be cut out for the job without knowing what it entails. Part of the problem is that there aren't a lot of decent, non-biglaw, law jobs. I am going to LS with the hope of launching a legal career after all.

UPDATE: I tried to get USC to increase my award (based on multiple acceptances and scholarships), but was unsuccessful. I'm really not sure what to do. I tentatively accepted Columbia's offer. However, this thread concerns me. I really liked USC when I visited; I know I'd be happy there. I haven't had an opportunity to visit Columbia, but I've heard from current students that the gunner-ish reputation is undeserved. Any current USC/Columbia students care to weigh in?


Recently-graduated CLS alum here. I'm certainly not a CLS fanboy by any means (just check my post history), but the gunnerish reputation is certainly undeserved. In fact I think it is actually less gunnerish than most schools simply because so many people get good jobs that it really doesn't breed that kind of aggressive behavior. People are fucking smart and they take 1L seriously, but I don't call that gunnerism. I'm not quite sure where the reputation came from other than the fact that CLS sends so many of its people into firms (for some reason people assume PI/gov't folks can't be gunners) or maybe because it is the highest ranked school with a traditional A/A-/B+ grading system. For me, the best thing about the school other than the job prospects and easy 2L/3L curve was the people.

I could maybe think of 2-3 people in my 1L section of 100 who I would call gunners (at this point I forget most of their names) and that was really only the people who constantly raised their hands. After 1L I wasn't in class enough to really get a good picture but from what I understand the gunnerism was pretty much non-existent.

Now elitism is a different story. The few people (maybe 4-5) out of my class I really do not like are the types of people who start a conversation with you by interrogating you to see if you are working at a higher ranked firm then they are and then use the conversation to include little tidbits of their resume. That's a very small number of people and I think you would find them at any school.

And while biglaw is not for everybody, I know plenty of people who are planning to stay 2-3 years then start exiting out. Outside of super-selective boutique and federal government gigs it really is the best place to start your career. The exit options are pretty wide from what I understand.

EDIT: I'll say that I was originally leaning USC but now have changed my vote to CLS. If you don't really have a plan for what you want to do after law school I think CLS would be a good investment. It might be different if you were set on a specific type of PI/gov't (hell, I even know supposedly dedicated PI people who are working at firms next year) but I think CLS will offer you the widest variety of options from the median.

TheZoid
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:07 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby TheZoid » Wed May 23, 2012 3:03 pm

Lol at the advice is iiifly and LSHopeful ITT. Just awful logic.

Note: Estimating where you think you'll finish in the class, from everything I've ever heard anyone who's been in law school say, is an exercise in futility. Also, Columbia's job prospects are a little better than USC's, for those who are unaware of that.

OP, good luck with your decision. It's not an easy one, and given your apparent reluctance/uneasiness re: biglaw, USC with $$$ seems like the right play.

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby 2014 » Wed May 23, 2012 5:32 pm

I think you are underestimating the price of CLS unless you have savings you are spending on it. Pre-Interest COA should be north of 210k.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15510
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed May 23, 2012 7:13 pm

OP said COL will be covered at either school.

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby 2014 » Wed May 23, 2012 11:21 pm

Ah see it now. I made it about 4 posts down before I scrolled to the bottom :P

User avatar
moneybagsphd
Posts: 889
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:07 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby moneybagsphd » Wed May 23, 2012 11:29 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:OP said COL will be covered at either school.

Yup... Even then, that debt will swell to 290k (2400/mo) over 10 years. USC on the other hand will cost about 80k after interest (600/mo).

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15510
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed May 23, 2012 11:35 pm

moneybagsphd wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:OP said COL will be covered at either school.

Yup... Even then, that debt will swell to 290k (2400/mo) over 10 years. USC on the other hand will cost about 80k after interest (600/mo).


A bit high on the estimate there, but yes the cost difference is serious. BigLaw will be necessary out of Columbia.

User avatar
moneybagsphd
Posts: 889
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:07 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby moneybagsphd » Wed May 23, 2012 11:43 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
moneybagsphd wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:OP said COL will be covered at either school.

Yup... Even then, that debt will swell to 290k (2400/mo) over 10 years. USC on the other hand will cost about 80k after interest (600/mo).


A bit high on the estimate there, but yes the cost difference is serious. BigLaw will be necessary out of Columbia.

I used the georetown law finaid calculator...

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15510
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed May 23, 2012 11:45 pm

moneybagsphd wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
moneybagsphd wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:OP said COL will be covered at either school.

Yup... Even then, that debt will swell to 290k (2400/mo) over 10 years. USC on the other hand will cost about 80k after interest (600/mo).


A bit high on the estimate there, but yes the cost difference is serious. BigLaw will be necessary out of Columbia.

I used the georetown law finaid calculator...


So did I. OP said 160K debt before interest, so start it at about 52K. Still $2200/month on the ten year plan.

Fark-o-vision
Posts: 590
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:41 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby Fark-o-vision » Wed May 23, 2012 11:51 pm

I've been told, though I have no reason to believe this necessarily, that the "business" category of USC's employment data is not as bullshitty as most of the jobs at most of the schools. A few people who even self-select into the entertainment industry and other, similar, jobs.

Not sure how to confirm this outside of questioning every graduate though, so if you think this is something that could change your decision one way or the other I would definitely research it some more on my own.

User avatar
99.9luft
Posts: 1244
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:32 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby 99.9luft » Thu May 24, 2012 12:38 am

Enjoy U$C.

User avatar
Dany
Posts: 11580
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:00 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby Dany » Thu May 24, 2012 12:40 am

I'm a 1L at CCN and I would absolutely take the money at USC.

newpoaster
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:56 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby newpoaster » Thu May 24, 2012 1:14 am

Dany wrote:I'm a 1L at CCN and I would absolutely take the money at USC.

This means a lot to me. Care to elaborate?

User avatar
Dany
Posts: 11580
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:00 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby Dany » Thu May 24, 2012 1:19 am

newpoaster wrote:
Dany wrote:I'm a 1L at CCN and I would absolutely take the money at USC.

This means a lot to me. Care to elaborate?

I just don't think law school is worth $150k+, unless it's like Yale and doesn't have grades. $50k debt is very minimal, and I'd rather have the freedom to choose what to do after law school with a small amount of debt than be in my position, which is (a) pray I'm not unemployed, (b) hope to last long enough in a soul-sucking biglaw job to pay off my debt, or (c) pray that I can last 10 years in a qualifying PI job for LRAP. All of those are much scarier than $50k debt to me.

I'm not disappointed with my choice, and I'm happy with my 1L job and all that, so it's not bitterness/regret talking. I just really think minimizing debt is the way to go. I wish I had taken a lot of money in my home market instead (which would be Vandy) but unfortunately I didn't have that option.

newpoaster
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:56 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby newpoaster » Thu May 24, 2012 1:40 am

Dany wrote:
newpoaster wrote:
Dany wrote:I'm a 1L at CCN and I would absolutely take the money at USC.

This means a lot to me. Care to elaborate?

I just don't think law school is worth $150k+, unless it's like Yale and doesn't have grades. $50k debt is very minimal, and I'd rather have the freedom to choose what to do after law school with a small amount of debt than be in my position, which is (a) pray I'm not unemployed, (b) hope to last long enough in a soul-sucking biglaw job to pay off my debt, or (c) pray that I can last 10 years in a qualifying PI job for LRAP. All of those are much scarier than $50k debt to me.

I'm not disappointed with my choice, and I'm happy with my 1L job and all that, so it's not bitterness/regret talking. I just really think minimizing debt is the way to go. I wish I had taken a lot of money in my home market instead (which would be Vandy) but unfortunately I didn't have that option.

Thank you. USC is highly respected in SoCal (a SD judge told me I'd be a fool not to take USC w/ $$$ over Columbia). And, as I've emphasized in my posts, I'm very afraid of debt. But biglaw for 3 yrs might be an acceptable outcome if it leads to better lateral options. To reformulate the question: how much better will Columbia be for my career 10 yrs down the line?
Last edited by newpoaster on Thu May 24, 2012 1:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Dany
Posts: 11580
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:00 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby Dany » Thu May 24, 2012 1:42 am

I don't know, and I don't think anyone can answer that. At that point, I think it's going to be your work as a lawyer that determines how your career is headed, but I have no idea.

newpoaster
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:56 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby newpoaster » Thu May 24, 2012 1:56 am

Dany wrote:I don't know, and I don't think anyone can answer that. At that point, I think it's going to be your work as a lawyer that determines how your career is headed, but I have no idea.

In case it matters, I have strong legal ties to SoCal. Most TLSers would consider the work shitlaw, but as long as it pays the bills... (still 6 figures).
I've always thought that firm prestige would determine lateral options, but I know nothing.

ryemanhattan
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:31 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby ryemanhattan » Thu May 24, 2012 5:17 am

You've never been to NYC and you don't know if you can hang with biglaw life...

USC really is the obvious choice here. For fucks sake go visit NYC though.

User avatar
smokeylarue
Posts: 408
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby smokeylarue » Thu May 24, 2012 7:36 am

CLS if you want Big Law.

TheZoid
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:07 pm

Re: CLS (sticker) or USC ($$$$). HALP!!!

Postby TheZoid » Thu May 24, 2012 10:07 am

newpoaster wrote:
Dany wrote:I don't know, and I don't think anyone can answer that. At that point, I think it's going to be your work as a lawyer that determines how your career is headed, but I have no idea.

In case it matters, I have strong legal ties to SoCal. Most TLSers would consider the work shitlaw, but as long as it pays the bills... (still 6 figures).
I've always thought that firm prestige would determine lateral options, but I know nothing.


If you know for sure you can still make six figures out of USC with that scholly, take the money and run. It's the 160k vs. 50k possibility that makes it a tough decision.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 7 guests