Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

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noggo10
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Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby noggo10 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:35 pm

So I'm having second thoughts about law school. I was set on attending a T-6 school in the legal market I want to practice in one day. I received a generous scholarship, and will graduate with around $120,000 in debt from the school. Combined with only about $20,000 in undergrad debt and I would be looking at $140,000 in total educational debt. I want Big law without a doubt. One of the major motivations for this is that I come from a very modest background financially and would like to be able to help my folks out one day with money. I researched law school employment data, etc. extensively before applying. Initially I thought I'd be fine if I went to a T-14 school and especially fine if I went to a T-6. The more research I do, however, and with the economic forecast getting more gloomy recently, I'm not so sure that even a T-6 at half price is a sound investment anymore. More and more I am considering withdrawing and paying the withdrawal penalty and trying to do anything else for a year.

As a K-JD I actually did have a few other solid options at the time that I did not take. I regret this, but I was going through a difficult time in my life and not thinking clearly and hindsight I always 20/20. I have a 3.9 from a top 30 undergrad school so I feel like, even though it would take some effort on my part having already graduated, I could find decent non-legal employment. I'm not under any illusion of making $100,000 or anything like that. As a liberal arts major I know how my options would be limited. But I'd rather take an entry-level sales job or teach English abroad for a year or two and save up some money rather than take out all that debt and possibly not be able to pay it. Part of me also thinks with a year or two of work experience and a continued down turn in law schools apps, I'd get into one of HYS (waitlisted across the board this time around with a 3.9/173). I feel like HYS really are the only good investments anymore. And to clarify, I do actually want to practice law and know what that actually entails; I have no illusion of being Atticus Finch or anything. I'm just completely on my own (parents are great and would help financially if they could but they can't) and terrified of what would happen to me if another economic downturn occurs, even more legal jobs disappear, and I strike out at OCI in a year from now. So my questions are:

1). Any words of wisdom from anyone out there?

2). If I do withdraw, work for a year or two and reapply would this hurt my chances at schools I was accepted into but withdrew from?

Thank you so much!

EnchantedJockstrap
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby EnchantedJockstrap » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:42 pm

*slaps OP.


You are sitting on a winning lottery ticket and are being too much of a ***** to cash it in.


My vote is that you go to your T-6 school and do the best job you can. Then go out, practice, pay off you debts and teach high school english. Or put jello down your pants for all I care. T-6 schools are still pretty safe. Considering the school is already in a region you want to live in why are you questioning if this is a wise investment?

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby crumpetsandtea » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:51 pm

EnchantedJockstrap wrote:*slaps OP.


You are sitting on a winning lottery ticket and are being too much of a ***** to cash it in.


My vote is that you go to your T-6 school and do the best job you can. Then go out, practice, pay off you debts and teach high school english. Or put jello down your pants for all I care. T-6 schools are still pretty safe. Considering the school is already in a region you want to live in why are you questioning if this is a wise investment?

Are you serious? Stop letting your jealousy of OP's LS success cloud your advice.

OP: if you are having doubts at all about paying $120K for school, CONSIDER TAKING TIME OFF. You are right to be worried about taking on $140,000 worth of non-dischargable debt. You have clearly spent a lot of time considering and weighing your options. You're also correct in thinking that a year or two of WE will help your application. I can't guarantee it will get you a better shot at HYS, but it definitely won't hurt when/if you reapply again. Your LSAT score will remain on file for 5 years, so there's no worry about that.

When/if you reapply and schools ask you why you turned down $$, explain EXACTLY what you've said here: it shows maturity and understanding of the financial situation you're placing yourself in. Tell them that you wanted more financial security, an opportunity to mature and experience the working/"real" world before continuing to professional school, and a chance to expand on your resume. The only way taking a year or two off will look bad is if you don't get a job and just sit on your parents' couch for the entire time.

Have you already found a job or started looking? The job market outside the legal market isn't so great either. If you're really interested in taking a year off, make sure to start looking ASAP. Also, be aware that a starting salary for a college libarts grad will be pathetically low, so you may not have the opportunity to save as much as you'd like. Consider living at home while working and using the $$ that you would have paid for rent to pay off your UG loans to minimize what you'll have to pay after LS.

I am not at all in the situation you are (2.8/176 lololol), but I think taking 1.5 years off drastically improved my cycle, probably because it distanced me from my GPA and showed that I had the ability and maturity to hold a FT position and be an adult. With your 3.9, it will look even better. Additionally, if you get a decent job, it'll help you during OCI by setting you apart from other K-JDs coming from your school, and giving you something to talk about in interviews to demonstrate your ability to work in an office/FT/high-pressure setting.

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Samara
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby Samara » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:52 pm

noggo10 wrote:1). Any words of wisdom from anyone out there?

2). If I do withdraw, work for a year or two and reapply would this hurt my chances at schools I was accepted into but withdrew from?

Thank you so much!

1) T6 at half-price is still a very good investment. However, going to law school when you aren't ready probably isn't. If you are confident in your ability to get a decent job right now, I would encourage you to do so and come back to law school later. You could ask for a deferral if you want, or just reapply.

2) Speaking of...as long as you are doing something worthwhile, it doesn't appear that it would hurt your chances at all to reapply in one or two cycles. Like you said, apps might keep going down and you might get into YSH.

ETA: Everything Crumps said.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:20 pm

TAKE TIME OFF.

Law school will always be there. If i were you I would contact the law school and ask about deferring to the class of 2016. Contrary to the posters above, I think a T6 at half price is borderline in terms of being worth it. It's a lot of debt to take on and it's not a lock that you get a good job.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby crumpetsandtea » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:22 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:TAKE TIME OFF.

Law school will always be there. If i were you I would contact the law school and ask about deferring to the class of 2016. Contrary to the posters above, I think a T6 at half price is borderline in terms of being worth it. It's a lot of debt to take on and it's not a lock that you get a good job.

TBH I agree with you, I'm just in no position to wax poetic about HYS or bust because I'm attending NU with only a small scholarship. XD Since OP is in a position to do better though, I think they should definitely bust their ass trying to either wring some more money from the T6 or try to get HYS.

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banjo
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby banjo » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:26 pm

15% of CLS c/o 2013 struck out at OCI. That number was over 20% at NYU. I'm willing to bet a disproportionately large percentage of these were K-JDs with liberal arts degrees. I think withdrawing, acquiring work experience, and reapplying in a (hopefully) better economy will make law school a safer bet even if you end up at CCN again.

Would say defer, but probably too late.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:29 pm

Is that legal market NYC or Chicago ? Either way, a top 6 at half-price is a wise investment, in my opinion. Nevertheless, with a 173/3.9, you'll gain re-entry if you decide to work for a year or two. In short, there is no clear-cut right or wrong answer that anyone but you can provide. I do, however, think that your financial concerns are a bit exaggerated--but it's your debt, not mine.

JetsFan1990
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby JetsFan1990 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:32 pm

banjo wrote:15% of CLS c/o 2013 struck out at OCI. That number was over 20% at NYU. I'm willing to bet a disproportionately large percentage of these were K-JDs with liberal arts degrees. I think withdrawing, acquiring work experience, and reapplying in a (hopefully) better economy will make law school a safer bet even if you end up at CCN again.

Would say defer, but probably too late.


Do you have anything to back this up?

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:33 pm

I would go for that price. I am actually enrolled at a T-6 and considering taking another year off-because I will be going for just below sticker price. For your amount of debt, I would say absolutely go-with the one caveat being if you are sure you want to be a lawyer. Even if you strike out at OCI that is in no way the end of your career. Paying back $120,000 can be done even without a biglaw job. I think in any scenario where you don't achieve your ideal outcome from law school, you will still be able to find gainful employment enough to have a career and financial stability.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:40 pm

A quick look at OP's prior posts reveals that his options are Columbia with $75,000, Chicago with $90,000 & NYU with $112,500. Target market is NYC. OP's top choice is Yale, but also prefers Harvard & Stanford to his current options.

OP: Are you still on any of Harvard, Yale or Stanford's waitlist ? And, if yes, would you attend any of the three at sticker or could you qualify for financial aid ?
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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banjo
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby banjo » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:40 pm

JetsFan1990 wrote:
banjo wrote:15% of CLS c/o 2013 struck out at OCI. That number was over 20% at NYU. I'm willing to bet a disproportionately large percentage of these were K-JDs with liberal arts degrees. I think withdrawing, acquiring work experience, and reapplying in a (hopefully) better economy will make law school a safer bet even if you end up at CCN again.

Would say defer, but probably too late.


Do you have anything to back this up?


Anecdotes like this: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=140165&start=1550#p5698230.
And the poll results here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=189449

The power of WE at OCI is also illustrated by NU's consistently fantastic placement relative to its peers

ETA: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=185404#p5532449
Last edited by banjo on Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

noggo10
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby noggo10 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:05 pm

Lots of questions to answer here. I'll start with HYS waitlist question.
-I am still on all three waitlists but doubt I will get in at this point. Neither of my parents can contribute anything to my law school costs and both are in pretty bad shape financially. They would help me if they could but they just can't at this point. So, I would anticipate I would get a signifcant chunk of money if accepted at HYS. I feel those 3 schools are the only unequivocally good investments ITE, due to their overall placement power AND lack o traditional grades. I would feel comfortable going to any of them with what I would guess would amount to around $30,000/year in institutional aid.

-Yes I will be aiming to practice in NYC.

-I do definitely want to practice law. It is my career of choice, long-term.

-Basically what it boils down to is my folks are in a precarious enough position as it is financially and I have no cushion. I happen to think I interview very well (but then again who doesn't think they interview well) but I just literally cannot be part of that 15-20% that strikes out. I know the consequence of it would be financial ruin. If I try my hand at an entry level job and don't like it the worst that will happen is I can reapply to law school.

Thanks for any advice!

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dingbat
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby dingbat » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:10 pm

noggo10 wrote:Lots of questions to answer here. I'll start with HYS waitlist question.
-I am still on all three waitlists but doubt I will get in at this point. Neither of my parents can contribute anything to my law school costs and both are in pretty bad shape financially. They would help me if they could but they just can't at this point. So, I would anticipate I would get a signifcant chunk of money if accepted at HYS. I feel those 3 schools are the only unequivocally good investments ITE, due to their overall placement power AND lack o traditional grades. I would feel comfortable going to any of them with what I would guess would amount to around $30,000/year in institutional aid.

-Yes I will be aiming to practice in NYC.

-I do definitely want to practice law. It is my career of choice, long-term.

-Basically what it boils down to is my folks are in a precarious enough position as it is financially and I have no cushion. I happen to think I interview very well (but then again who doesn't think they interview well) but I just literally cannot be part of that 15-20% that strikes out. I know the consequence of it would be financial ruin. If I try my hand at an entry level job and don't like it the worst that will happen is I can reapply to law school.

Thanks for any advice!

--ImageRemoved--

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PaulKriske
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby PaulKriske » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:11 pm

dingbat wrote:
noggo10 wrote:Lots of questions to answer here. I'll start with HYS waitlist question.
-I am still on all three waitlists but doubt I will get in at this point. Neither of my parents can contribute anything to my law school costs and both are in pretty bad shape financially. They would help me if they could but they just can't at this point. So, I would anticipate I would get a signifcant chunk of money if accepted at HYS. I feel those 3 schools are the only unequivocally good investments ITE, due to their overall placement power AND lack o traditional grades. I would feel comfortable going to any of them with what I would guess would amount to around $30,000/year in institutional aid.

-Yes I will be aiming to practice in NYC.

-I do definitely want to practice law. It is my career of choice, long-term.

-Basically what it boils down to is my folks are in a precarious enough position as it is financially and I have no cushion. I happen to think I interview very well (but then again who doesn't think they interview well) but I just literally cannot be part of that 15-20% that strikes out. I know the consequence of it would be financial ruin. If I try my hand at an entry level job and don't like it the worst that will happen is I can reapply to law school.

Thanks for any advice!

--ImageRemoved--



this thread is annoying.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:12 pm

noggo10 wrote:but I just literally cannot be part of that 15-20% that strikes out. I know the consequence of it would be financial ruin.


This is not true at all.

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smaug_
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby smaug_ » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:20 pm

If you're uncomfortable with your options retake/reapply. If you think going to a T-6 with money isn't worth it, don't go.

We're all forced to choose between the options we have rather than the ones we would like to have. Not much else to say.

EnchantedJockstrap
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby EnchantedJockstrap » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:20 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:Are you serious? Stop letting your jealousy of OP's LS success cloud your advice.


It's not jealousy. This guy has a scholly to a T-6 in the city that he wants to practice in. It's a safe bet unless he goes on a binge and ends up addicted to crystal meth.

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twenty
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby twenty » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:22 pm

Not crazy -- I would go for it though. 140k in debt is a lot, but I'd say Columbia is definitely worth it. If you want to practice law, which you've said you do, then Columbia (WITH MONEY) is an amazing option for that.

EnchantedJockstrap
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby EnchantedJockstrap » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:23 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:Not crazy -- I would go for it though. 140k in debt is a lot, but I'd say Columbia is definitely worth it. If you want to practice law, which you've said you do, then Columbia (WITH MONEY) is an amazing option for that.


+1

OP: It's your choice and I wish you well.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:30 pm

OP: All three of your options are well worth the investment. Nevertheless, your hesitation is understandable because you are waitlisted at all three of Harvard, Yale & Stanford & would qualify for financial aid at all three.
If you had a job offer that interests you, I would agree that reapplying with post-undergraduate work experience is a reasonable alternative. But, without a job offer, ask Chicago, Columbia & NYU for more money. If none is offered, then go with your instincts because you'll certainly have attractive options if you reapply with work experience.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby bobbyh1919 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:38 pm

Unless you're in at HYS and have managed to score some money, you could always be doing better. Can't blame OP for wanting to be in the absolute best position possible I suppose.

That being said, a scholly of any size at CLS is a great deal and arguably puts you in a better position than about 99% of your graduating class across the country. When you put it like that, it sounds like you should go, but honestly either decision here is fine.

noggo10
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby noggo10 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:48 pm

Thanks to all the posters who replied with helpful advice. EnchantedJockstrap: I didn't think you were being jealous at all or anything. I laughed when you gave me the cyber slap in the face. It was a breath of fresh air. To all those who thought this thread is annoying/as a result I am being a pain in the ass: I'm sorry. I have seen both my parents go through bankruptcy; if that is not something you've experienced (and I sincerely hope you never have to), let me just tell you it makes you VERY cautious with money. I am aware I have great options, but am equally aware that the legal profession is a bit of a mess right now.

noggo10
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby noggo10 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:49 pm

Also: I like the idea of asking for more money. Can never hurt to ask.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Would it be crazy to withdraw right now?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:50 pm

Samara wrote:

1) T6 at half-price is still a very good investment. However, going to law school when you aren't ready probably isn't.[/quote]




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