St. Marys vs South Texas

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Kenneth417
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St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby Kenneth417 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:22 pm

So I have recently been accepted to St. Marys located in San Antonio as well as South Texas in Houston. Can you please provide me with some good advice regarding which school offers a better program and has more opportunities for myself following graduation. Thanks for all your help ahead time! I look foward to hearing your responses.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:38 pm

St. Mary's faces a bit less competition than South Texas. If I had to do one, I'd do St. Marys. I know someone in San Antonio that is four or five years out of school and is having a really hard time getting work in San Antonio-- says the market is stuck at 45k even for people with his level of experience. Try to keep debt down to 50k or so. Those loans are going to be really hard to pay off. GL

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Devlin
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby Devlin » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:00 pm

Would you rather leave in Houston or San Antonio?

If Houston, South Texas.

If San Antonio, St. Mary's.


That being said, South Texas is not that bad for a TTTT.

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philosoraptor
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby philosoraptor » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:07 am

All you need to know (besides what city you want to spend your life in):

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=stmarys
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=southtexas

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North
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby North » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:41 am

Kenneth417 wrote:So I have recently been accepted to St. Marys located in San Antonio as well as South Texas in Houston. Can you please provide me with some good advice regarding which school offers a better program and has more opportunities for myself following graduation. Thanks for all your help ahead time! I look foward to hearing your responses.

1. What is the total cost of attendance at each of these schools?

2. What job are you gunning for that you need a JD to get?

3. How will you be financing your education?

4. Have you been to the websites philosoraptor posted?

Kenneth417
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby Kenneth417 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:44 am

1.) Without any assistance each school will run me around $100,000-$120,000 in loans.
2.) Family/Estate Planning Attorney at Law
3.) For either school I have the ability to cover my first year of expenses and the final two years I will be receiving loans.
4.) And yes I have visited the websites.

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North
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby North » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:17 pm

Kenneth417 wrote:1.) Without any assistance each school will run me around $100,000-$120,000 in loans.
2.) Family/Estate Planning Attorney at Law
3.) For either school I have the ability to cover my first year of expenses and the final two years I will be receiving loans.
4.) And yes I have visited the websites.

Okay.

First, I work with family attorneys at my non-law job and can tell you that they very rarely make much money. Estate planning, as far as I understand, is difficult to break into and often doesn't pay well either. In both cases, unless you're doing work for very wealthy clients, you won't be making much money.

Second, $120,000 is a ton of money. And you'll be paying 7.5% interest on it even while you're in law school. Look at this:

Loan Repayment Calculator wrote:Loan Balance: $120,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 6.80% (notice this is low-balled)
Loan Fees: 0.00% (also low-balled)
Loan Term: 10 years
Minimum Payment: $50.00
Enrollment Status: In Repayment
Degree Program: Lawyer (LLB or JD)
Total Years in College: 7 years
Average Debt per Year: $17,142.86

Monthly Loan Payment: $1,380.96
Number of Payments: 120

Cumulative Payments: $165,715.88
Total Interest Paid: $45,715.88

It is estimated that you will need an annual salary of at least $165,715.20 to be able to afford to repay this loan. This estimate assumes that 10% of your gross monthly income will be devoted to repaying your student loans. This corresponds to a debt-to-income ratio of 0.7. If you use 15% of your gross monthly income to repay the loan, you will need an annual salary of only $110,476.80, but you may experience some financial difficulty. This corresponds to a debt-to-income ratio of 1.1.

Now, that should concern you. Does it? Because it's VERY unlikely (read: it won't happen because mid-career attorneys in that field don't make that mich) that you'll make half that amount as the type of attorney you want to become. Think about trying to make those payments on the $35,000 salary you're likely to end up with. Without taxes, your take home would be around $3,000 a month. Now, subtract your $1,400 loan payment. That leaves you with $1,600 a month to pay for food, bills, rent, your UG debt, and everything else. If you have a family, that puts you below the poverty line. If you don't, you certainly won't be able to afford many of the comforts you probably associate with being a lawyer. So, does going to either of these law schools still sound like a good idea?

But wait! That's not the worst of it. This is: we just talked about how dire a situation you'd be in IF YOU DID manage to find a legal job with your JD, but ONLY ABOUT 60% OF THE GRADUATES FROM THESE SCHOOLS EVER GET A JOB AS A LAWYER. Can you imagine trying to make the payments on those loans we talked about before WITHOUT a legal job? Can you imagine trying to start a family with that financial ball and chain? Do you think you'd be able to afford a mortgage on a house anytime soon?

So, that gives you two options.

1. You could say "I'm special, and none of that is going to happen to me" and go to one of these schools, and mortgage the next 20 or 30 years of your life for a sub-par JD, or

2. You could take this seriously, and study as hard as it takes to get AT LEAST a 165 on a re-take of the LSAT. With a 160-something, you could go to one of these schools for free if you still wanted to.

If you actually want to be a lawyer, take the time and put in the effort to do it right. Not just for you, but for whatever family you might want to have.

Edit: Too douchey.
Last edited by North on Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:53 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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patrickd139
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:27 pm

North's post is extra-douchey, but it's (mostly) good advice.

Some Caveats:
1) St. Mary's (at least when I was applying) doesn't give full rides.
2) Your analogy of the casino bet is a little off: Even if you "win" your $120,000 bet, it's not like you're getting it back. Some of the jobs that you take when you "win" that bet will still not allow you to recoup your investment.

Overall, I would suggest that you retake the LSAT. Then, reapply with a better score to either a) go to a school that maximizes your chances at getting a job that will enable you to repay the debt, or b) go to a school that minimizes your debt so you can take the type of job you claim you want (family law, estate planning, etc.).

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North
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby North » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:51 pm

patrickd139 wrote:North's post is extra-douchey

Oh it wasn't that bad. +1 on the casino amendment.

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ndirish2010
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:21 pm

If douchey = the truth, then his post was douchey.

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patrickd139
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:23 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:If douchey = the truth, then his post was douchey.

I can be as much of a dick as anyone on this forum, but OP wasn't being defiant or shunning advice. Didn't really see the need to drop "fuck" so much.

That said, I'm all for the detailed breakdown with the numbers.

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North
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby North » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:47 pm

patrickd139 wrote: Didn't really see the need to drop "fuck" so much.

Okay dude, FTFY.

Sorry Kenneth, I get riled up.
Last edited by North on Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kenneth417
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby Kenneth417 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:54 pm

I know where you guys are coming from but I do not have to receive any type of loan assistance for my first year at either of these schools which reduces a substantial amount of debt for myself. Also, in addition to not having loans for my first year my parents are in a position where they can help with expenses. I was seeing which one of these schools is a better option.

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North
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby North » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:56 pm

Kenneth417 wrote:I know where you guys are coming from but I do not have to receive any type of loan assistance for my first year at either of these schools which reduces a substantial amount of debt for myself. Also, in addition to not having loans for my first year my parents are in a position where they can help with expenses. I was seeing which one of these schools is a better option.

That doesn't mean going to either of these schools isn't a waste of that money. The advice still applies. Retake the LSAT and go for free or close to it on the schools dime, not your and your parent's.

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ndirish2010
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:06 pm

Kenneth417 wrote:I know where you guys are coming from but I do not have to receive any type of loan assistance for my first year at either of these schools which reduces a substantial amount of debt for myself. Also, in addition to not having loans for my first year my parents are in a position where they can help with expenses. I was seeing which one of these schools is a better option.


A better option would just be to sit at home and do nothing. At least you won't get a worthless JD and waste $120K.

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patrickd139
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:09 pm

Kenneth417 wrote:I know where you guys are coming from but I do not have to receive any type of loan assistance for my first year at either of these schools which reduces a substantial amount of debt for myself. Also, in addition to not having loans for my first year my parents are in a position where they can help with expenses. I was seeing which one of these schools is a better option.

Regardless of which one might be better, neither of these schools are a good option. Any way you slice it, you're better served by retaking the LSAT and putting your money to better use, or at least not parting with as much of it. Your parents deserve better than to throw away their money on a school that will (likely) leave you in crippling debt and (possibly) without a job.

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philosoraptor
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby philosoraptor » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:31 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
Kenneth417 wrote:I know where you guys are coming from but I do not have to receive any type of loan assistance for my first year at either of these schools which reduces a substantial amount of debt for myself. Also, in addition to not having loans for my first year my parents are in a position where they can help with expenses. I was seeing which one of these schools is a better option.

Regardless of which one might be better, neither of these schools are a good option. Any way you slice it, you're better served by retaking the LSAT and putting your money to better use, or at least not parting with as much of it. Your parents deserve better than to throw away their money on a school that will (likely) leave you in crippling debt and (possibly) without a job.
+1. Sit this one out, Kenneth, and retake and reapply next year. If you want to work in Texas, shoot for UT or a full ride to SMU, U of H, or Baylor. As others have pointed out, you're putting too much emphasis on the fact that law school will cost less for you than for your peers, and not enough emphasis on the question of whether you're making a good investment. Don't squander money you've obviously worked hard to save.

Kenneth417
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby Kenneth417 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:17 pm

I hear what every one of you is saying but I interned for two lawyers that went law schools that were not in the top tier and they are successful lawyers with their own practices. Their advice to me was that law school is what you make of it. If all these critisims are in fact true then why do students attend these schools and end up being extremely successful?

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kalvano
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby kalvano » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:24 pm

Kenneth417 wrote:I hear what every one of you is saying but I interned for two lawyers that went law schools that were not in the top tier and they are successful lawyers with their own practices. Their advice to me was that law school is what you make of it. If all these critisims are in fact true then why do students attend these schools and end up being extremely successful?



Troll.

timbs4339
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:31 pm

Kenneth417 wrote:I hear what every one of you is saying but I interned for two lawyers that went law schools that were not in the top tier and they are successful lawyers with their own practices. Their advice to me was that law school is what you make of it. If all these critisims are in fact true then why do students attend these schools and end up being extremely successful?


Do you understand the concepts of "median" and "outliers"? I'm sure I could find a few Harvard law grads flipping burgers or broke, that wouldn't change the fact that Harvard is generally a good deal. That you can find a few grads of these schools that were successful does not mean most graduates are successful.

Of course if you only interview successful people from these schools it will seem like everyone is successful from those schools. And of course successful people are not likely to attribute their success to blind chance or luck, but to hard work, perseverance, skill, or something else they can control. And of course you want to believe that you'll also be successful because of one of the latter factors and its not all up to blind chance. That's what we call "optimism bias."

Finally, it was a lot less risky to attend law school 20 or even 10 years ago because it cost very little. Law school tuition has increased by a lot and wages have stayed the same. You need to be very strategic about law school, not just running off to the first school that accepts you. It is now becoming more common to go through a few admissions cycles to maximize your options.

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North
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby North » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:42 pm

Kenneth417 wrote:I hear what every one of you is saying but I interned for two lawyers that went law schools that were not in the top tier and they are successful lawyers with their own practices. Their advice to me was that law school is what you make of it. If all these critisims are in fact true then why do students attend these schools and end up being extremely successful?

Assuming that you aren't just trolling us, the answer is that the advice you received -- though it once may have been -- is no longer true. Of course, a couple students may still come out of these bottom-feeding schools and defy the odds to make something of themselves, but that's far and away the least likely outcome. Do you really think that the two attorneys you interned for (who graduated with a tiny fraction of the debt you're considering and into a much more forgiving legal market than the one you have, mind you) are representative of every graduate of these bottom-feeders? No. Because the ones who had their lives ruined by debt are unlikely to be in a position to hire interns.

Here's some LSAT practice. What's the flawed assumption here?

Premise: I interned for two lawyers that went law schools that were not in the top tier and they are successful lawyers with their own practices.

Conclusion: students [who] attend these schools end up being extremely successful

Edit: Scooped.

Kenneth417
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby Kenneth417 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:55 pm

My situation is isnt going to end up in "crippling" debt. I am probably looking at debt around the range of $50,000 (and I do not have any debt from my undergrad) which is a lot less than $120,000 obviously. Coming out of law school with over half as much debt as the average law student from these schools makes it easier on my part. That is why I am considering attending one of these schools. Even if I only earn a starting salary of 40 or 50k the opportunities that I can make for myself are great from gaining a large amount of experience. I greatly appreciate everything you guys had to said and I will take it into consideration while trying to make my decision.

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North
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby North » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:07 pm

Kenneth417 wrote:My situation is isnt going to end up in "crippling" debt. I am probably looking at debt around the range of $50,000 (and I do not have any debt from my undergrad) which is a lot less than $120,000 obviously. Coming out of law school with over half as much debt as the average law student from these schools makes it easier on my part. That is why I am considering attending one of these schools. Even if I only earn a starting salary of 40 or 50k the opportunities that I can make for myself are great from gaining a large amount of experience. I greatly appreciate everything you guys had to said and I will take it into consideration while trying to make my decision.

It costs way less than $50,000 to put some work into the LSAT, dude. Can't say you weren't warned.

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romothesavior
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby romothesavior » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:19 pm

Kenneth417 wrote:I hear what every one of you is saying but I interned for two lawyers that went law schools that were not in the top tier and they are successful lawyers with their own practices. Their advice to me was that law school is what you make of it. If all these critisims are in fact true then why do students attend these schools and end up being extremely successful?

I'd like to introduce you to the concept of anecdotal evidence. I know a guy who won a bunch of money playing roulette a few weeks ago. That doesn't make roulette a good investment strategy.

Certainly no one on TLS would argue that no one ever succeeds from lower tier schools. Certainly some do. But the data makes clear that most don't succeed. Your anecdote is perfectly consistent with the data, but it doesn't change the average outcome. Also, people who graduated decades ago are a terrible barometer for today's hiring realities. C'mon man. Your logic is terrible.

If you're set on this gamble, go to Law School Transparency and pick the one with more appealing job prospects. But you should retake and reapply instead of taking the easy road. The easy road likely leads to disappointment and debt. Good luck.

Kenneth417
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Re: St. Marys vs South Texas

Postby Kenneth417 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:43 pm

How is my logic terrible? What your saying is that the student body at these schools have a better chance at failing than becoming a quality attorney. I think those law students would have to disagree with your assumption. You get out of life what you put into it and everything I have accomplished up to this point in my life is due the approach I take and it have never steered me wrong. Im not saying what you have to offer is completely false but there are always execptions to every argument and I plan on being one of those exceptions. I greatly appreciate what you have had to say though. Thanks.




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