Please help me make my decision (poll included)

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

Which would you choose?

Harvard (sticker)
109
64%
Chicago (45k scholarship)
1
1%
NYU (50k scholarship)
10
6%
Berkeley (applied for UVA matching scholly)
8
5%
UVA (105k scholarship)
18
11%
Penn (applied for 60-90k scholarship)
6
4%
Michigan (67.5k scholarship)
2
1%
Georgetown (97k scholarship)
3
2%
UT (Full-ride)
12
7%
 
Total votes: 169

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Teflon_Don
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby Teflon_Don » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:33 am

sabanist wrote:Have you applied for financial aid from HLS yet? I don't know that it's a safe assumption that you won't get a dime.
Regardless, I'd take HLS over UVA any day of the week because I'm much more afraid of bad employment outcomes than debt. If you're serious about a clerkship or public interest, it's not even close in my mind.
It really just depends on how much you weigh the risk of debt against the risk of ending up un(der)employed.

Congrats on the nice choices to have :)


I completely agree. Literally the only thing fresking me out about not sending my deposit in TODAY to HLS is the immense debt. But like you said, the other schools don't provide the same employment opportunities, and I'm going to be in 150k debt regardless of my choices, unless I went to UT. But I really don't see any of these schools being worth passing up HLS after taking time to think about it. The Debt difference between NYU and HLS isn't too much. And the other schools plain & simple don't provide the same opportunities. The debt is def scary though.

ETA: no I am applying for fin aid this weekend, even though I have basically zero assets/savings, they're fully calculating my parents' information. It seems as though parents who make 150-250k combined, who aren't contributing to my law school payments, should be taken into consideration. Ugh.

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sabanist
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby sabanist » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:15 pm

Teflon_Don wrote:I completely agree. Literally the only thing fresking me out about not sending my deposit in TODAY to HLS is the immense debt. But like you said, the other schools don't provide the same employment opportunities, and I'm going to be in 150k debt regardless of my choices, unless I went to UT. But I really don't see any of these schools being worth passing up HLS after taking time to think about it. The Debt difference between NYU and HLS isn't too much. And the other schools plain & simple don't provide the same opportunities. The debt is def scary though.

ETA: no I am applying for fin aid this weekend, even though I have basically zero assets/savings, they're fully calculating my parents' information. It seems as though parents who make 150-250k combined, who aren't contributing to my law school payments, should be taken into consideration. Ugh.

Hey, the deposit isn't due for a while. If you think it will help to sit on the decision for a little while longer, there's no harm in it.
I know needaccess has a section of their forms where you can explain special circumstances. I haven't started HLS's application yet because my dad still hasn't filed taxes, but maybe they have a section like that. If not, you could send them a supplemental email explaining your concerns about debt, the fact that your parents won't contribute, and maybe describe your scholarship offers and how they're making your decision tougher. I don't know that it can hurt anything.

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Redamon1
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby Redamon1 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:54 pm

Debt scares the shit out of me. I withdrew from HYS waitlist to follow the money. Not to downplay the value of a HYS degree, but acknowledging and factoring in one's debt aversion is reasonable, IMO. This is not to sway you one way or the other but to balance out the bullish attitude that largely dominates TLS. Big Debt is not for everyone.

thand42292
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby thand42292 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:12 am

Redamon1 wrote:Debt scares the shit out of me. I withdrew from HYS waitlist to follow the money. Not to downplay the value of a HYS degree, but acknowledging and factoring in one's debt aversion is reasonable, IMO. This is not to sway you one way or the other but to balance out the bullish attitude that largely dominates TLS. Big Debt is not for everyone.

TYIA for making waitlist room.

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sabanist
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby sabanist » Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:32 pm

Redamon1 wrote:Debt scares the shit out of me. I withdrew from HYS waitlist to follow the money. Not to downplay the value of a HYS degree, but acknowledging and factoring in one's debt aversion is reasonable, IMO. This is not to sway you one way or the other but to balance out the bullish attitude that largely dominates TLS. Big Debt is not for everyone.

Yeah, I'd hate to come off as someone who totally downplays major debt. The fact that I have UG debt and would have to take out loans for COL is a huge factor in my thinking; if nowhere is a free ride, and I'll likely get max aid from HLS, the extra $100k in loans doesn't seem as daunting compared to a higher risk of unemployment with at least $100k in debt on graduation day anyway.

This stuff really boils down to people's personal situations.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:01 pm

Teflon_Don wrote:
guano wrote:Get rid of Georgetown (better scholly at UVA), Chicago (at sticker, Harvard is abetted option) and Michigan (price comparison with NYU and UVA makes it obsolete). Probably get rid of NYU because if you're spending that much, may as well go a bit bigger and attend Harvard.
Penn and Berkeley are very dependent upon the size of the scholly, particularly Berkeley considering your interest in California. UT for cost of living is avoid option if you want to stay in Texas


So best case scenario, Penn gives me 90k and Berkeley matches that 105k UVA scholarship (these are long shots, I know). Do you think those are way better options than HLS at sticker? I'd like California one day, but I'm not dead set on it either. I'd also like the option to return to TX if I wanted


2 Years ago I almost had the same choices. Couple of things

I'm a URM and I used my UVA scholly to negotiate with Berkeley. They not only matched it they exceeded it by 10 grand.

My situation is a little different because I'm a vet and used the GI Bill

I ended up choosing H but if the GI Bill didn't cover so much I probably would have went elsewhere. Looking at your choices I think it would come down to 4 schools Penn at 90k, B at 105, H at sticker and UT for free. If I knew I wanted to stay in Texas 100% UT would be a serious contender if not then I don't think they are nearly as strong as the other schools. Being a URM from H you are have a great shot at Texas. I know many URM's with no Texas ties (myself included) who got offers from multiple texas firms. Looking at recent data Penn's outcomes are actually really good as well with about 75% getting big firm, public interest or A3 Clerkships. Not to mention many at Penn go into business. Berkeley employment numbers are about 10% less according to LST. Hard choice, personally I'd probably take Penn with 90k, first I'd negotiate hard to try to get Penn in that 100-120 K range using my harvard acceptance. But I think for me it would come down to H or Penn, with Penn winning because i'm very debt adverse.
Last edited by unc0mm0n1 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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gnomgnomuch
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby gnomgnomuch » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:35 pm

Honestly id depends on what you want out... big law id prob go with the best money from those schools, Clerking or academia, Harvard (possibly Chicago or stanford depending if you get money from Chicago, or if you prefer Harvard or Stanford). If you are realllllly risk averse, than 105k at UVA seems pretty good.

Nice to have these decisions, but you really cant go wrong here... all the best!

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Teflon_Don
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby Teflon_Don » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:12 pm

UVA with the scholly over Harvard at sticker?? I'm surprised so many people are suggesting that.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:17 pm

Teflon_Don wrote:Bump. Any other thoughts? People think UVA with 105k is better than HLS at sticker? Why?

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star fox
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby star fox » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:27 am

Harvard carries a lifetime worth of prestige that's difficult to match fwiw,
http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... ctive=true

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Teflon_Don
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby Teflon_Don » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:29 pm

john7234797 wrote:Harvard carries a lifetime worth of prestige that's difficult to match fwiw,
http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... ctive=true


Good to know... Thanks!

NYstate
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby NYstate » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:48 pm

Make sure you check out Harvards LRAP They call it LIPP for "low income protection plan." I am not that familiar with it, but I know it also covers private firm jobs not just PI.

Having that as a backup might help you decide.

I am very debt averse but I hate UVa job placement stats. Still, UVa for free can be a great deal and people have been very successful from UVa. I also think that 0Ls on this board over-sell the prestige of Harvard as a protection against being unemployed and as a guarantee for 40 years of $100,000 salary. (someone posted that once.) We know that isn't true.

But it is true that law is extremely prestige obsessed and lawyers tend to be prestige obsessed getting a large part of their identity from their school and their job. Prestige is a currency in biglaw. ( UVa has prestige too, so don't assume that Harvard is the only place with prestige.) So prestige can be a better investment for law as opposed to other professions where school doesn't matter so much.

Things that are better about Harvard:
Need- based aid
Stronger job placement
Loan repayment plan
Some of the highest prestige on the prestige scale.

Things that are better about UVa
Massively, life-changingly cheaper

But is it worth the cost? Only you can really decide that one for yourself.


Here are a couple of links to the LIPP:
http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... /lipp.html

http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/lipp/index.html
Last edited by NYstate on Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sabanist
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby sabanist » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:52 pm

NYstate wrote:Make sure you check out Harvards LRAP They call it LIPP for "low income protection plan." I am not that familiar with it, but I know it also covers private firm jobs not just PI.

Having that as a backup might help you decide.

+1. Being unsure about what kind of law I want to practice (and how much money I'm going to make), LIPP was a huge factor in my choice.

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Teflon_Don
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby Teflon_Don » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:57 pm

NYstate wrote:Make sure you check out Harvards LRAP They call it LIPP for "low income protection plan." I am not that familiar with it, but I know it also covers private firm jobs not just PI.

Having that as a backup might help you decide.

I am very debt averse but I hate UVa job placement stats. Still, UVa for free can be a great deal and people have been very successful from UVa. I also think that 0Ls on this board over-sell the prestige of Harvard as a protection against being unemployed and as a guarantee for 40 years of $100,000 salary. (someone posted that once.) We know that isn't true.

But it is true that law is extremely prestige obsessed and lawyers tend to be prestige obsessed getting a large part of their identity from their school and their job. Prestige is a currency in biglaw. ( UVa has prestige too, so don't assume that Harvard is the only place with prestige.) So prestige can be a better investment for law as opposed to other professions where school doesn't matter so much.

Things that are better about Harvard:
Need- based aid
Stronger job placement
Loan repayment plan
Some of the highest prestige on the prestige scale.

Things that are better about UVa
Massively, life-changingly cheaper

But is it worth the cost? Only you can really decide that one for yourself.


Here are a couple of links to the LIPP:
http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... /lipp.html

http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/lipp/index.html


I'm trying to think more in terms of long term investment. Obviously I'll be better off financially after graduating from UVA v HLS. But, in regards to the long distance future, I think HLS opens doors second to none. Besides YS. So, I think it is worth the price. I think only a full ride at a top 10 or half at CLS would make me really reconsider not attending HLS, I suppose. The debt makes me nervous but this is a lifelong investment, it seems. However, paying $3100+ a month is certainly not appealing. I don't know

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Teflon_Don
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby Teflon_Don » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:00 pm

sabanist wrote:
NYstate wrote:Make sure you check out Harvards LRAP They call it LIPP for "low income protection plan." I am not that familiar with it, but I know it also covers private firm jobs not just PI.

Having that as a backup might help you decide.

+1. Being unsure about what kind of law I want to practice (and how much money I'm going to make), LIPP was a huge factor in my choice.


I think you're right. This makes me feel a lot better about the risk that I'm taking on. Also, my career interests aren't set in stone. I used to be PI or bust, then interested in Big Law for a couple years, or maybe clerkships. See, I really don't know what area I want to enter yet. I'd like to attend a school that gives me a nice chance at any of these areas, and the LIPP safety net is def appealing

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Presidentjlh
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby Presidentjlh » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:01 pm

Can't go wrong with Harvard.

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Teflon_Don
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby Teflon_Don » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:01 pm

I withdrew from Michigan and about to do the same for Georgetown. Just to update this

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Teflon_Don
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby Teflon_Don » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:05 pm

Presidentjlh wrote:Can't go wrong with Harvard.


My best case scenario is: 90k at Penn; 110k at Berk (if they add 10k like a previous poster said) and X amount at Chicago, and in at Stanford. Obviously it's highly unlikely that these all play out. But I think I'd still choose Harvard over all if these all worked out. I'm going to do the FinAid stuff this week and see if I'll get anything from HLS. Highly doubtful though since they calculate parents' info (they're not loaded but I believe it's too much to actually get any need-based money)

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Presidentjlh
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby Presidentjlh » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:12 pm

Teflon_Don wrote:
Presidentjlh wrote:Can't go wrong with Harvard.


My best case scenario is: 90k at Penn; 110k at Berk (if they add 10k like a previous poster said) and X amount at Chicago, and in at Stanford. Obviously it's highly unlikely that these all play out. But I think I'd still choose Harvard over all if these all worked out. I'm going to do the FinAid stuff this week and see if I'll get anything from HLS. Highly doubtful though since they calculate parents' info (they're not loaded but I believe it's too much to actually get any need-based money)


Yeah, that need-based money can be a real pain to acquire unless you're fairly low on the income ladder. Either way, you have a pretty promising 3 years ahead of you.

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sabanist
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby sabanist » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:12 pm

Teflon_Don wrote:I think you're right. This makes me feel a lot better about the risk that I'm taking on. Also, my career interests aren't set in stone. I used to be PI or bust, then interested in Big Law for a couple years, or maybe clerkships. See, I really don't know what area I want to enter yet. I'd like to attend a school that gives me a nice chance at any of these areas, and the LIPP safety net is def appealing

We might be the same person :lol:
I had the exact same train of thought. The dream is DOJ work, but I'm far from naive about my chances at that, so I'm leaving the door open for pretty much any other opportunities I might be happy in. Having LIPP as a safety net if I decide I want to be a PD in Nowheresville, Montana is a huge comfort to me.
I've talked to some HLS students and graduates who are committed to PI, some of it very low-paying, and they've found that LIPP has been totally sufficient. Same goes for the summer funding for PI jobs for 1L and 2L.
It makes me feel like I'm covering all my bases to choose a school that can keep some unique opportunities available and catch me if I fall, even if it costs more up front.

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haus
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby haus » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:26 pm

Congraulations on having a nice set of options to choose from.

Given the options on the table Harvard is hard to turn down. It should be stated that having Harvad on your résumé does not rule out the possibility that things may not work out as you might like. But the name does seem to open doors, and the LIPP program is a nice resource for those who choose HLS.

Good luck with your journey.

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Teflon_Don
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby Teflon_Don » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:44 pm

UPDATE: was offered 45k from Chicago, no word from Stanford. Decided not to even bother with the Penn scholarship..

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quiver
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby quiver » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:00 am

Teflon_Don wrote:I think HLS opens doors second to none. Besides YS.
I laughed at this.

FWIW: I'd probably go with H --> biglaw for a few years paying as little on your loans as possible and saving as much as possible --> gov/PI + LIPP + PSLF. Going to H actually makes that a feasible path and it gives you both the geographic and career flexibility to go other routes/places if your goals change. Can't really go wrong with any of your options though. Congrats!

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Teflon_Don
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby Teflon_Don » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:47 am

quiver wrote:
Teflon_Don wrote:I think HLS opens doors second to none. Besides YS.
I laughed at this.

FWIW: I'd probably go with H --> biglaw for a few years paying as little on your loans as possible and saving as much as possible --> gov/PI + LIPP + PSLF. Going to H actually makes that a feasible path and it gives you both the geographic and career flexibility to go other routes/places if your goals change. Can't really go wrong with any of your options though. Congrats!


Thanks for your input! Could you explain more about paying as little on my loan as possible while in big law?

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quiver
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Re: Please help me make my decision (poll included)

Postby quiver » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:04 am

Teflon_Don wrote:
quiver wrote:
Teflon_Don wrote:I think HLS opens doors second to none. Besides YS.
I laughed at this.

FWIW: I'd probably go with H --> biglaw for a few years paying as little on your loans as possible and saving as much as possible --> gov/PI + LIPP + PSLF. Going to H actually makes that a feasible path and it gives you both the geographic and career flexibility to go other routes/places if your goals change. Can't really go wrong with any of your options though. Congrats!


Thanks for your input! Could you explain more about paying as little on my loan as possible while in big law?
If you're going the gov/PI route after a few years in biglaw, then you'll be in qualifying employment for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Therefore, your loans will be forgiven after 10 years in gov/PI anyway and there's little point in paying down a big chunk of your loans while in biglaw. Depending on the job, H's LIPP should cover your loan payments while you're in gov/PI anyway so you'll basically have almost your entire salary + whatever you saved in biglaw to live off of. If you end up staying in biglaw, you can simply use all the money you saved to pay off a huge chunk of loans at once.

I normally don't suggest this career path because gov/PI is so difficult to get that you can't really plan on getting one of those jobs at the time you enter biglaw. But since you'll have a degree from H and are geographically flexible, I think it's actually a feasible path in your case.




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