UtilityMonster wrote:This question depends on your other options. If this is your best option, I think even if it means going $200k into debt, and despite its clear risks, an NYU law degree, assuming you are willing to work your ass off during law school and after, is a worthy investment.
I echo the sentiments of other users who regard a full ride or large scholarship at a lower T14 as a better option, though.
1. It seems closer to $300,000 of debt for many people.
2. Most people don't understand what biglaw is, they only see the salary. It seems like so much money to them, that they think they can do whatever it takes to earn the salary. They don't consider how little they will have to live on in NYC after paying debt and how limited their life may be.
3. Being prepared to work your ass off is not enough, be sure you understand the day to day grind and hours of biglaw. I feel that almost no 0LS understand this part of the equation. If you are a person who needs regular sleep or who doesn't have insanely high energy levels or who cant manage stress and pressure, big law will eat you up in a few years.
4. I am happy with biglaw and I like the work, but the great majority of associates in my department are miserable. Many of them just hate the lifestyle, and even start to hate law. Dont get me wrong, some people thrive in this work environment. You probably know already how you deal with no sleep and pressure. I mentioned in another thread that my record was a deal where I worked for 3 days straight with literally going home to change clothes. I can handle an all-nighter (protip: drink water!) but by the end of that I was ready to walk into walls. But I still had to churn out perfect and timely work for everyone. ( protip: you always want to control the draft of the documents, but that means you have more work than the other side.) Even then, I only had one night of sleep before going back at it hard. This is extreme, but, do you think you can handle it?
I guess I am saying that I don't buy this idea that law at sticker debt of hundreds of thousands of dollars is obviously anyone's best option if they have to get and keep biglaw. I think people need to investigate other careers and really learn about biglaw before they sign on the dotted line.
For some people it is fantastic. But that is a small number of people. Even of the small group of people that biglaw is fantastic for, the odds of making partner are small. Understand the job and don't just see dollar signs. Reality is that people don't go into law to get rich, though it is possible, it isn't a sure thing and it is one of the hardest ways to make money.