How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

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rickgrimes69
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:15 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:Depends on how debt adverse you are. I would go to any T14 at sticker. I think outside of GULC all other schools are a fairly smart investment even at sticker. I know people who would only go HYS at sticker cause they are debt adverse. I lol at those people though.


What do you do to those people who went to a top 14 sticker and end up unemployed with 270K debt?


If you end up completely unemployed from a T13 (as in, no job at all) you probably did something wrong. That includes not knowing when to cut your losses if you're really doing that awful after 1L.

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DaleCooper
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby DaleCooper » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:36 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
DaleCooper wrote:All the Lower-T14 Flameouts I know managed to get decent-paying midlaw jobs in their low-COL home market or LRAPable "JD preferred" jobs


Wow, I guess GULC is a much better school than UVA then, because that's definitely not what's happening to many of the people I know here who "flamed" out.


I don't know, man, maybe everybody I know is good at interviews... I didn't say it was a scientific survey. I only know one person who graduated bottom-third at UVA this year, but he's got a solid market-paying job in his home city.

Revolver066
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby Revolver066 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:47 pm

BruceWayne wrote:Looking back on it, and knowing what I know now, I don't think any of the non HYS schools should cost you more than 180K total. NU sure as hell isn't worth 285K and UVA isn't worth whatever it is that I'm paying now (probably like 250K). HYS are the only schools where bottom 1/3 still means biglaw (hell in the case of Y/S biglaw in a secondary market even). Outside of that your chances of missing biglaw if you reside in the bottom 1/3 are HUGE.

Honestly, it's better to go to a strong regional where your numbers are better than most of the class with a half tuition or higher scholly.


Hmm..I don't know about the last sentence. I agree its redic that schools cost more than 180k, but take my home market of LA (and disregard the fact I'm a splitter so LOL at the idea of scholly money). If I went to a strong regional, say USC or UCLA at half scholly, I'd still be paying around 45-50k a year when you factor in COL. So around 150k of debt at graduation for schools in which half the class ends up in "shitlaw" or totally screwed doesn't sound that appealing-see Rayiner's unemployment thread for USC's numbers. And those are the 15th and 18th ranked schools in the nation, not the typical regional school like say Pepperdine or Loyola.

Maybe that says more on going to law school in general, but I'd rather pay sticker for Penn, Northwestern, Duke, etc than gamble at most local regionals, even with a scholly.

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TheThriller
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby TheThriller » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:59 pm

This question is 100% circumstance/individual dependent.

Being a splitter, I would pay sticker at any T14 over any other LS acceptance costing me ~100k+ because any T14 will offer me better employment prospects at servicing debt then any LS below the t14 that would cost be ~100k+ to attend.

apollo2015
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby apollo2015 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:08 pm

Like all law schools, it depends on one's Risk Aversion and on one's Debt Aversion.

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anon sequitur
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby anon sequitur » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:01 am

I passed up several t14's last year, all at sticker, felt it was too much debt. Ended up going to UVA this year when they offered 1/3 discount. Felt that $100k for tuition made a decent risk/reward scenario. But there are a lot of other factors at play, obviously.

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TopHatToad
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby TopHatToad » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:15 am

flem wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:Depends on how debt adverse you are. I would go to any T14 at sticker. I think outside of GULC all other schools are a fairly smart investment even at sticker. I know people who would only go HYS at sticker cause they are debt adverse. I lol at those people though.


What do you do to those people who went to a top 14 sticker and end up unemployed with 270K debt?


ObligatoryWhySoSerious.jpg


flem wrote:I wouldn't take anything less than full tuition + stipend at Georgetown but I'd pay sticker anywhere else in the T14


Says the guy/gal who wouldn't take GULC for anything but for free + stipend

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KevinP
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby KevinP » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:03 am

Considering the C/O 2011 probably had it the worst, and running calculations based on lifetime earnings, I tend to agree that the lower T14 are generally worth it at sticker. GULC may be the exception.

That said, I'm still personally having a ton of doubts about whether I'm making a financially sound move by attending a T14. And this is coming from someone with an engineering background + WE and about to head to CLS at non-sticker price.

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rayiner
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby rayiner » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:04 am

KevinP wrote:That said, I'm still personally having a ton of doubts about whether I'm making a financially sound move by attending a T14. And this is coming from someone with an engineering background + WE and about to head to CLS at non-sticker price.


Its tempting to just look at the downside potential, but you also have to factor in upside potential as well as your alternatives. You're unlikely to make much more than $125k as an engineer without going into management, which will typically involve dropping $180k+interest on an MBA. Demand in IP is high enough right now where you're likely to be able to stick it out 5-7 year in big law, even if you get pushed out of your first firm. After that you've got decent in-house options where $200k+ further into your career is within reach. That's assuming you don't make partner or counsel at even a small or mid-sized firm, which is not so unlikely that you can discount it completely from the calculation.

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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby Morgan12Oak » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:11 am

This is incredibly dependent. I finished undergrad, got into a 80-100k job in a low CoL area, worked there for 2 years, and left to go to law school at near sticker at a lower t14 and have 0 regrets and would do it again in a heartbeat.

To other people, this is insanity. Like others have said, the decision isn't as formulaic as some people would like to think. There are certainly wrong decisions you can make with law school like if I had chosen to attend a TTTT for some reason. But, beyond that, its mostly grey

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Funkycrime
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby Funkycrime » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:52 am

I personally would retake if faced with a lower T-14 at sticker. A few more months of study outweighs three years of added stress, at least I think so.

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blue_c
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby blue_c » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:13 am

rayiner wrote:
KevinP wrote:That said, I'm still personally having a ton of doubts about whether I'm making a financially sound move by attending a T14. And this is coming from someone with an engineering background + WE and about to head to CLS at non-sticker price.


Its tempting to just look at the downside potential, but you also have to factor in upside potential as well as your alternatives. You're unlikely to make much more than $125k as an engineer without going into management, which will typically involve dropping $180k+interest on an MBA. Demand in IP is high enough right now where you're likely to be able to stick it out 5-7 year in big law, even if you get pushed out of your first firm. After that you've got decent in-house options where $200k+ further into your career is within reach. That's assuming you don't make partner or counsel at even a small or mid-sized firm, which is not so unlikely that you can discount it completely from the calculation.


As another soon to be CLSer w/ engineering background, this is always good to hear.

I would have paid sticker at any t14 for these exact reasons (assuming no obviously better offers). I think I have the background necessary to break even on my potential earnings with making much more being more likely. In another situation, I might not feel the same way.

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KevinP
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby KevinP » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:00 am

blue_c wrote:As another soon to be CLSer w/ engineering background, this is always good to hear.

I would have paid sticker at any t14 for these exact reasons (assuming no obviously better offers). I think I have the background necessary to break even on my potential earnings with making much more being more likely. In another situation, I might not feel the same way.

Your situation might be different because you're EE. I'm CS/Math and my CS degree isn't ABET-accredited (read: not patent bar eligible), so I'ma be gunning for patent litigation jobs.

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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby gossard267 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:07 pm

rayiner wrote:
KevinP wrote:That said, I'm still personally having a ton of doubts about whether I'm making a financially sound move by attending a T14. And this is coming from someone with an engineering background + WE and about to head to CLS at non-sticker price.


Its tempting to just look at the downside potential, but you also have to factor in upside potential as well as your alternatives. You're unlikely to make much more than $125k as an engineer without going into management, which will typically involve dropping $180k+interest on an MBA. Demand in IP is high enough right now where you're likely to be able to stick it out 5-7 year in big law, even if you get pushed out of your first firm. After that you've got decent in-house options where $200k+ further into your career is within reach. That's assuming you don't make partner or counsel at even a small or mid-sized firm, which is not so unlikely that you can discount it completely from the calculation.


As someone who knows several engineers who have made the leap to management, I strongly disagree with the bolded. Top-shelf MBAs are a waste of money for engineers, unless you are looking to make a huge career change (switch to consulting, finance, marketing, etc). For most engineers looking to move into management, almost any MBA will work, because the MBA is merely a signal and box to check. Hiring committees mainly value your technical knowledge and your ability effectively engage with and be respected by engineering staff, but they do need some sign that you have interest in managing people and that you have at least been taught how to read a P&L.

From a purely economic perspective, I'd guess that engineer w/ part-time MBA (funded by employer) moving into management will turn a better ROI than engineer that drops out of the work force for 3 years, accumulates 250K in debt at 8% interest, and then reenters through biglaw.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby JamMasterJ » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:09 pm

I was uncomfortable with sticker at a lower T14, but I was going to take it until a better offer came along

otnemem
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby otnemem » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:20 pm

I don't think I'd take a lower t14 with more than 150k of debt at graduation. I wouldn't feel comfortable without having some sort of out if I missed biglaw/lrap jobs. 150k of debt would still be really tough on a 50k salary, but you could still refinance to a 15 or 20 year loan, and then pay it off more aggressively if/when your salary rises. 250k-300k of debt would just be crushing. However, I'm probably more risk-averse than many people here.

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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby flcath » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:31 pm

What are your opportunity costs?

There are people for whom sticker price at Stetson is a tenable decision, because it was that or barista-ville, no exaggeration. OTOH, I also knew a girl who graduated in '11 from ND undergrad with like a ~3.9 in chemistry, who's dropping out of a lower T14 after 1L (she was above median) because she realized that the credential actually made her *less* impressive/marketable/prestigious.

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BruceWayne
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby BruceWayne » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:43 pm

By the way I hope that people are defining lower top 14 as anything lower than HYS. Because ITE that's the way you need to be thinking. Below median at any top 14 outside of HYS is basically in the same boat. Where you have ties to and whether that market is in the same region as your top 14 is going to play a bigger role than which of the non HYS top 14 you go to.

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Samara
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby Samara » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:45 pm

BruceWayne wrote:By the way I hope that people are defining lower top 14 as anything lower than HYS. Because ITE that's the way you need to be thinking. Below median at any top 14 outside of HYS is basically in the same boat. Where you have ties to and whether that market is in the same region as your top 14 is going to play a bigger role than which of the non HYS top 14 you go to.

Totally agree with this.

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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby otnemem » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:14 am

Below median at any top 14 outside of HYS is basically in the same boat.


While I believe everyone should be wary, I don't think the data that we have supports the above statement. For the class of '11, ~37% of Georgetown's class got biglaw/federal clerkships, while almost 70% of Columbia class did. Cornell, UVA, and Michigan were all the the 40s. This doesn't mean that below median at Columbia is a great place to be, but I'd still rather be there than below median at some other T14s.

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KevinP
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby KevinP » Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:28 am

flcath wrote:What are your opportunity costs?

There are people for whom sticker price at Stetson is a tenable decision, because it was that or barista-ville, no exaggeration. OTOH, I also knew a girl who graduated in '11 from ND undergrad with like a ~3.9 in chemistry, who's dropping out of a lower T14 after 1L (she was above median) because she realized that the credential actually made her *less* impressive/marketable/prestigious.

I agree that it really does depend on opportunity costs. Kind of ironic how much a JD hurts when looking for non-legal work, although it can be a plus for non-legal jobs in very rare situations. I don't intend to practice law forever, but I plan on going into a non-purely-legal niche field (CS/Math background) where a JD will help if I manage to do biglaw for a few years.

BruceWayne wrote:By the way I hope that people are defining lower top 14 as anything lower than HYS. Because ITE that's the way you need to be thinking. Below median at any top 14 outside of HYS is basically in the same boat. Where you have ties to and whether that market is in the same region as your top 14 is going to play a bigger role than which of the non HYS top 14 you go to.

Below median at any school outside of HYS is a crappy place to be, but the bolded is false. In terms of non-NYC markets, maybe. But in terms of a shot at a biglaw job in general, NYC (where a lot of biglaw hiring is done) firms dig deeper into the T6 schools. 85% of CLS's class got an biglaw SA offer from EIP alone.

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Samara
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby Samara » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:24 am

^But that's kind of the point, isn't it? Two-thirds of the CLS class stays in New York after graduation. It's obviously not true that all non-YSH T14 employment outcomes are the same and that should factor into the decision. However, I do think people overlook how regional T14 schools are in favor of pure rankings. I think Bruce is especially talking about secondary markets. If you want to work in Atlanta, is CLS really that much better equipped to get you there than Duke or Vandy?

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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby JJW » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:43 am

The friends I know (with insight from friends they know) say the firms they have recently interviewed with claim they are hiring very few SAs. Granted, this feedback is limited to firms attending fairs and regionals. The sense is that we have yet to measure the true depth of ITE. In short, toss your pre ’12 data.

With that in mind, using median as a likely criteria on where you will end up. Require no less than a 25% tuition discount. The game has dramatically changed, not just for you, but for your school. Your target LS cannot produce the same results as they did for their student of ten years ago (and they know it). Your target school needs to step up too.

Granted you could get lucky and wind up with a 1L paying SA and with the right scholarship, you could literally finish 1L with more money in the bank then when you started 1L (or close to it). I know of two other people who accomplished this feat, but I know of a lot more at median with no LR who have yet to secure anything comforting. Of course hope abounds with every phone call and email.

If your LSAT cannot get you in the game where you need to be, on the terms necessary to minimize your risk, why would anyone think it will get easier in LS.

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sunynp
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby sunynp » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:54 am

I'm starting to advise people to look at the NALP data from firms in their area. After more than a year on TLS, I'm starting to understand that 0Ls overestimate the number of SAs available. I think people get that grades matter and they understand that you can't count on being top 10%, but until OCI, they don't understand how few SAs are out there. They also tend to not understand that getting the grades does not necessarily equal a job.

So look at the jobs in your region or ask the schools for the hiring data out of OCI.

The amount of the scholarship doesn't matter if you aren't getting a career you want- though free might be ok.

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rayiner
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Re: How much scholly would it take to make Lower T14 worthwhile?

Postby rayiner » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:09 am

KevinP wrote:
blue_c wrote:As another soon to be CLSer w/ engineering background, this is always good to hear.

I would have paid sticker at any t14 for these exact reasons (assuming no obviously better offers). I think I have the background necessary to break even on my potential earnings with making much more being more likely. In another situation, I might not feel the same way.

Your situation might be different because you're EE. I'm CS/Math and my CS degree isn't ABET-accredited (read: not patent bar eligible), so I'ma be gunning for patent litigation jobs.


I'm not EE and while prosecution boutiques aren't interested in my engineering degree, every GP firm that does IP lit is. The old CW about lit firms not caring about engineering background is obsolete.




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