Big law gambling

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forthewin2012
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Big law gambling

Postby forthewin2012 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:47 pm

Has anyone taken the position if attending law school on a full scholarship with the plan to probably drop out after 2L OCI without big law offer? Basically for someone with 3.7ish/170ish, what about the plan to attend a regional (like W&M) work crazy hard to try and hit big law lottery, and if it flops likely write off the 13-14months and drop out?

bdubs
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby bdubs » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:53 pm

You should run the numbers on this. AFAIK there is no school that will offer you a full scholarship that includes COL. You will be giving up not only 13-14 months of your life, but also 13-14 months of salary and career advancement in another job. Your chances of getting biglaw out of a school like W&M are so small that it seems like almost as big of a gamble as T14 with a small scholarship (which is what you're probably looking at otherwise).

badaboom61
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby badaboom61 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:59 pm

Wormfather wrote:0L here, but if you're on a fully, what's the extra $20-30k in living expenses to finish out and roll the dice with something turning up in 3L?


The answer, as already mentioned, is $20-30k plus what you would be making in another job plus the intangible benefits of another year of experience and career advancement. I'd guess that probably adds up to around $80k for most people. That's a lot of money.

forthewin2012
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby forthewin2012 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:05 pm

bdubs wrote:You should run the numbers on this. AFAIK there is no school that will offer you a full scholarship that includes COL. You will be giving up not only 13-14 months of your life, but also 13-14 months of salary and career advancement in another job. Your chances of getting biglaw out of a school like W&M are so small that it seems like almost as big of a gamble as T14 with a small scholarship (which is what you're probably looking at otherwise).


I could live rent free during this time, but obviously I would forgo full time income/employment. My guess is that I would have 1/5 chance of big law (slightly upping my chances given that my numbers are higher) and also some (not clear how much) chance of mid law or something else that would make it worthwhile to finish. And yeah the alternative is a ton of debt at t14 and maybe a 1/2 chance of biglaw.

bdubs
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby bdubs » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:17 pm

1/5 is slightly optimistic. The 75th percentile for reported private sector salaries is 120,000 for law firms with only 40 students reporting (out of 204). So only 9 students out of 204 could possibly have landed a market paying job.

http://law.wm.edu/careerservices/docume ... le2011.pdf

forthewin2012
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby forthewin2012 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:25 pm

bdubs wrote:1/5 is slightly optimistic. The 75th percentile for reported private sector salaries is 120,000 for law firms with only 40 students reporting (out of 204). So only 9 students out of 204 could possibly have landed a market paying job.

http://law.wm.edu/careerservices/docume ... le2011.pdf


Well, I'm not sure how to estimate but when you include midlaw could 1/4 be accurate? I'm not sure how much to count that I think people paying sticker or close to it likely don't have the same chance of landing big law/ mid law.

bdubs
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby bdubs » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:30 pm

forthewin2012 wrote:
bdubs wrote:1/5 is slightly optimistic. The 75th percentile for reported private sector salaries is 120,000 for law firms with only 40 students reporting (out of 204). So only 9 students out of 204 could possibly have landed a market paying job.

http://law.wm.edu/careerservices/docume ... le2011.pdf


Well, I'm not sure how to estimate but when you include midlaw could 1/4 be accurate? I'm not sure how much to count that I think people paying sticker or close to it likely don't have the same chance of landing big law/ mid law.


There is no way to know what the class composition is like, so you can't know that you're one of the top 10% of incoming students. Even if you could, everyone on here will tell you not to assume you will do better just because you're getting a large scholarship/have a better LSAT.

There is no way for me to define "midlaw" for you, just read that report and see if you're comfortable with the range of opportunities available.

forthewin2012
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby forthewin2012 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:41 pm

bdubs wrote:
forthewin2012 wrote:
bdubs wrote:1/5 is slightly optimistic. The 75th percentile for reported private sector salaries is 120,000 for law firms with only 40 students reporting (out of 204). So only 9 students out of 204 could possibly have landed a market paying job.

http://law.wm.edu/careerservices/docume ... le2011.pdf


Well, I'm not sure how to estimate but when you include midlaw could 1/4 be accurate? I'm not sure how much to count that I think people paying sticker or close to it likely don't have the same chance of landing big law/ mid law.


There is no way to know what the class composition is like, so you can't know that you're one of the top 10% of incoming students. Even if you could, everyone on here will tell you not to assume you will do better just because you're getting a large scholarship/have a better LSAT.

There is no way for me to define "midlaw" for you, just read that report and see if you're comfortable with the range of opportunities available.



I hear you about grades. I think I'd have to be top 10% in gpa/LSAT, though.

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Feeny
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby Feeny » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:50 pm

I'm considering doing this if I cop that BU ED.

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swc65
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby swc65 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:51 pm

Another thing to think about is that dropping out of law school after the first year is going to be a red flag for potential employers in other fields. Some mich think you're a drop-out; some might think that you really want to be a lawyer and are therefore a flight risk. NOt dispositive but worth considering.

forthewin2012
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby forthewin2012 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:34 pm

I think I could cover the resume gap and just leave law school off, because I have done part time work. As I think op indicates my plan is to do this (wm full). Gamble gamble red for the win!!!

senorhosh
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby senorhosh » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:41 pm

badaboom61 wrote:
Wormfather wrote:0L here, but if you're on a fully, what's the extra $20-30k in living expenses to finish out and roll the dice with something turning up in 3L?


The answer, as already mentioned, is $20-30k plus what you would be making in another job plus the intangible benefits of another year of experience and career advancement. I'd guess that probably adds up to around $80k for most people. That's a lot of money.


Common mathematical error on this forum? (correct me if I'm wrong).
Your opportunity cost isn't "total salary foregone" plus "CoL". It is only total salary foregone (plus benefits). But you don't add the 20-30k into opportunity cost because this was used on things you were going to buy anyway (besides maybe books).

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goldenflash19
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby goldenflash19 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:01 pm

I wouldn't be 100% confident about getting a full tuition scholarship. IIRC, W&M is relatively stingy with money. They could feasibly offer you a 60k ballpark scholarship where you'd be responsible for some tuition. Why not apply T14? The 170 could go you a decent scholarship somewhere, and your odds of biglaw would be a lot better. I think the reward justifies the risk increase here.

Nat Sherman
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby Nat Sherman » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:02 am

senorhosh wrote:
badaboom61 wrote:
Wormfather wrote:0L here, but if you're on a fully, what's the extra $20-30k in living expenses to finish out and roll the dice with something turning up in 3L?


The answer, as already mentioned, is $20-30k plus what you would be making in another job plus the intangible benefits of another year of experience and career advancement. I'd guess that probably adds up to around $80k for most people. That's a lot of money.


Common mathematical error on this forum? (correct me if I'm wrong).
Your opportunity cost isn't "total salary foregone" plus "CoL". It is only total salary foregone (plus benefits). But you don't add the 20-30k into opportunity cost because this was used on things you were going to buy anyway (besides maybe books).

You're right. Only thing I have to add is don't net out the cost (failed an econ case study for doing that once because you only see the difference in cost between the outcomes rather than your economic value of the two options). Instead add all costs and benefits together.

So on the don't go to law school side we have +50k from salary and a -20k for COL, leaving a net benefit of 30k. By going to law school for a year you'd have -20k for the inevitable cost of living plus the cost of things that are exclusive to going to law school. So the opportunity cost would be 50k (the salary), but you realize that it's not as bad as it seems. You can either be up 30k or down 20k, which is not that bad.

RPK34
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby RPK34 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:51 am

There's a W&M OCI thread in the employment forum somewhere from this year. I browsed it because I almost went there because it was going to be practically free for me. After reading through that thread, I feel pretty confident you won't work your ass off at W&M and get a big law gig. I'm pretty sure there were people in the top 20% not getting any screeners.

forthewin2012
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby forthewin2012 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:47 am

RPK34 wrote:There's a W&M OCI thread in the employment forum somewhere from this year. I browsed it because I almost went there because it was going to be practically free for me. After reading through that thread, I feel pretty confident you won't work your ass off at W&M and get a big law gig. I'm pretty sure there were people in the top 20% not getting any screeners.


I wish it were possible to see employment outcomes for people based on scholarship awarded. There are about 20-25% of W&M grads that have outcomes i think are good. There are about 60-70% of UVA with the same. I'd much rather do the former, and I think going on a full (assuming that works out) I have to have a significantly better chance of hitting the sweet offer.

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blurbz
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby blurbz » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:05 am

forthewin2012 wrote: I think going on a full (assuming that works out) I have to have a significantly better chance of hitting the sweet offer.


Not really. This topic is beaten to death on here, but correlation between incoming scholarship and law school performance is weak at best. Go to the T14 and give yourself a better shot at actually landing big law.

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justonemoregame
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby justonemoregame » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:27 am

what's this about a full scholarship at W&M? According to LSAC, these don't exist. There are only 8 people in the entire school (628 students) with a half-ride or more. Essentially, everyone is getting ripped to shreds.

forthewin2012
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby forthewin2012 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:06 pm

justonemoregame wrote:what's this about a full scholarship at W&M? According to LSAC, these don't exist. There are only 8 people in the entire school (628 students) with a half-ride or more. Essentially, everyone is getting ripped to shreds.


wow, it looks like you may right. well, this may change things. the basic idea is that i don't want to pay $50k+ for one year at Duke/UVa or equivalent to try and hit big law, since how i will do on exams is very uncertain. I think I'd rather invest the time at no cost (full scholarship) at a reputable but not T14 school, and then if it doesn't work out I can walk away. it seems like a lot of people doing the T14 route have trouble walking away due to sunk costs, and even if you can pull the trigger the prospect of having no job and 50-60k in extra debt, is really bleak.

HeavenWood
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby HeavenWood » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:21 pm

forthewin2012 wrote:Has anyone taken the position if attending law school on a full scholarship with the plan to probably drop out after 2L OCI without big law offer? Basically for someone with 3.7ish/170ish, what about the plan to attend a regional (like W&M) work crazy hard to try and hit big law lottery, and if it flops likely write off the 13-14months and drop out?

For someone who is big-law-or-bust but still highly debt-averse, you may be better off taking a partial scholly at a "super-regional" like Vandy, where at least the odds of getting what you want are higher than 10%.

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justonemoregame
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby justonemoregame » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:40 pm

Of the top-50 schools that are non-T14, the following are the most generous according to LSAC (figures do not count this year's entering class and their scholarship totals):

School (% of students with at least half-ride) / (% with at least full-ride)

Alabama 32.3 / 16.0
Arizona 27.6 / 9.3
Arizona State 20.9 / 4.9
Boston Univ. 28.3 / 2.0
UC-Davis 32.9 / 1.0
Emory 35.2 / 2.2
George Wash. 21.7 / 10.2
Georgia 34.1 / 1.5
Illinois 41.7 / 4.8
Indiana 41.7 / 25.6
Minnesota 34.9 / 6.8
Vanderbilt 26.0 / 3.5
Wake Forest 24.8 / 6.3
Washington Univ. 32.7 / 1.9
Washington and Lee 26.5 / 5.1

These are the only non-T14 schools in the top 50 with greater than 20% of the student body on at least a half-ride. (As a side note, YHS are the only T-14s).

I suspect the "near full-ride" stuff you hear on TLS is largely myth/regurgitated advice. I know of the 120K offers from Wash U and Wash & Lee, but outside of these and maybe a few others, it seems like the "significant" scholarships people refer to are 50-60% discounts. It's impossible to suss accurate data out of LSAC's numbers.

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IAFG
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:16 pm

justonemoregame wrote:I suspect the "near full-ride" stuff you hear on TLS is largely myth/regurgitated advice. I know of the 120K offers from Wash U and Wash & Lee, but outside of these and maybe a few others, it seems like the "significant" scholarships people refer to are 50-60% discounts. It's impossible to suss accurate data out of LSAC's numbers.

I've said it before, but the best offer I got, after applying fairly widely with my 3.5/173, was from GULC. Almost nothing from my state flagship, WL at Vandy, WL BU, nothing from GW... True, it was a tougher cycle, and my GPA was low, but I don't think assuming full rides will be on the table is reasonable for many people.

badaboom61
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby badaboom61 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:46 pm

IAFG wrote:
justonemoregame wrote:I suspect the "near full-ride" stuff you hear on TLS is largely myth/regurgitated advice. I know of the 120K offers from Wash U and Wash & Lee, but outside of these and maybe a few others, it seems like the "significant" scholarships people refer to are 50-60% discounts. It's impossible to suss accurate data out of LSAC's numbers.

I've said it before, but the best offer I got, after applying fairly widely with my 3.5/173, was from GULC. Almost nothing from my state flagship, WL at Vandy, WL BU, nothing from GW... True, it was a tougher cycle, and my GPA was low, but I don't think assuming full rides will be on the table is reasonable for many people.


Assuming full rides is never reasonable for splitters. If you're at or above BOTH LSAT and GPA 75 percentiles, assuming a full ride is pretty reasonable if the school usually gives full rides to its top applicants. I had a 4.0 / 169 and I got a full ride or the maximum scholarship to every school I applied to where I was above both 75%s, then when I started to fall below that (at Vandy and up), my scholarships started becoming less and less predictable.

EDIT: This might not be true for elite schools, but is pretty reliable at schools below T20 or so. I'm not sure if a 3.99 / 176 will guarantee a full ride at Columbia or Penn, although I'm not as familiar will it.

forthewin2012
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby forthewin2012 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:02 pm

justonemoregame wrote:Of the top-50 schools that are non-T14, the following are the most generous according to LSAC (figures do not count this year's entering class and their scholarship totals):

School (% of students with at least half-ride) / (% with at least full-ride)

Alabama 32.3 / 16.0
Arizona 27.6 / 9.3
Arizona State 20.9 / 4.9
Boston Univ. 28.3 / 2.0
UC-Davis 32.9 / 1.0
Emory 35.2 / 2.2
George Wash. 21.7 / 10.2
Georgia 34.1 / 1.5
Illinois 41.7 / 4.8
Indiana 41.7 / 25.6
Minnesota 34.9 / 6.8
Vanderbilt 26.0 / 3.5
Wake Forest 24.8 / 6.3
Washington Univ. 32.7 / 1.9
Washington and Lee 26.5 / 5.1

These are the only non-T14 schools in the top 50 with greater than 20% of the student body on at least a half-ride. (As a side note, YHS are the only T-14s).

I suspect the "near full-ride" stuff you hear on TLS is largely myth/regurgitated advice. I know of the 120K offers from Wash U and Wash & Lee, but outside of these and maybe a few others, it seems like the "significant" scholarships people refer to are 50-60% discounts. It's impossible to suss accurate data out of LSAC's numbers.


This is super useful. Looking at law school numbers it looks like for a few of these in the area (W&L, WFU, Emory) I'd either have a good or excellent chance of a full ride. It obviously would make no sense to go to any of those schools with a half ride or anything, but I think coming from those schools I could try to attend for free and give it my best go.

badaboom61
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Re: Big law gambling

Postby badaboom61 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:26 pm

forthewin2012 wrote:
justonemoregame wrote:Of the top-50 schools that are non-T14, the following are the most generous according to LSAC (figures do not count this year's entering class and their scholarship totals):

School (% of students with at least half-ride) / (% with at least full-ride)

Alabama 32.3 / 16.0
Arizona 27.6 / 9.3
Arizona State 20.9 / 4.9
Boston Univ. 28.3 / 2.0
UC-Davis 32.9 / 1.0
Emory 35.2 / 2.2
George Wash. 21.7 / 10.2
Georgia 34.1 / 1.5
Illinois 41.7 / 4.8
Indiana 41.7 / 25.6
Minnesota 34.9 / 6.8
Vanderbilt 26.0 / 3.5
Wake Forest 24.8 / 6.3
Washington Univ. 32.7 / 1.9
Washington and Lee 26.5 / 5.1

These are the only non-T14 schools in the top 50 with greater than 20% of the student body on at least a half-ride. (As a side note, YHS are the only T-14s).

I suspect the "near full-ride" stuff you hear on TLS is largely myth/regurgitated advice. I know of the 120K offers from Wash U and Wash & Lee, but outside of these and maybe a few others, it seems like the "significant" scholarships people refer to are 50-60% discounts. It's impossible to suss accurate data out of LSAC's numbers.


This is super useful. Looking at law school numbers it looks like for a few of these in the area (W&L, WFU, Emory) I'd either have a good or excellent chance of a full ride. It obviously would make no sense to go to any of those schools with a half ride or anything, but I think coming from those schools I could try to attend for free and give it my best go.


IIRC Emory has a named full ride scholarship that you have to interview for, and they only give out a handful of them.I knew two people from my UG who interviewed for it and didn't get it; one went to Vandy and other to MVP.




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