No Debt: Texas and Houston Worthwhile?

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The Patriot
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:17 am

No Debt: Texas and Houston Worthwhile?

Postby The Patriot » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:32 am

Greetings Everyone,

I'm a long time lurker, but finally decided to make the leap and post. I'm starting law school in Fall '13, and I have taken notice of the pessimism and general cynicism of the community here, but I feel that outlook is warranted considering the current job prospects. If you read this forum too much, it will scare you to death.

My situation is unique though in that I won't have any debt. None. I am waiting to hear from UT but if I don't get in there, it's Houston for me.

Even with zero debt, the employment prospects still scare me. But if you were in my position, how would the lack of debt alter your mentality regarding attending law school? Is the criticism here oriented more towards the general conditions of the legal market, or is the immense debt most students find themselves in the primary factor?

Are UT and U of H good choices taking into account I will be debt free upon graduation and may even have a little money in the bank? (~50k)?

Thank you very much for your time.

Citizen Genet
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:03 am

Re: No Debt: Texas and Houston Worthwhile?

Postby Citizen Genet » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:27 am

If you're looking at it form a purely financial standpoint, it depends on your opportunity cost. Do you have another career you are in or could easily get into? If so, how much do/would you make on a year to year basis? Using LST score for UH, you have a roughly 15% chance of hitting the jackpot in the form of BigLaw. If you're already making $60-75K in a different job, then the expected payoff is much better staying where you are. Also, is this a personal savings you have or is this a Sugar Daddy willing to pay your way through? If it's personal savings, that's a LOT of money to pour into a poor investment.

Other factors may be more significant for you. For instance, you may want to do a law job over other jobs. If being a lawyer is your dream job, then you should absolutely go to UH if it won't cost you anything. If you are unemployed and do not have any other prospects then UH is still probably a good idea.

(Any reason SMU isn't in the mix?)

As for your general question, there's a lot of criticisms of law school that make people give the advice they do. I think you're right that the amount of debt students walk away with -- combined with the low likelihood that most students have of finding a job that allows them to reasonably pay down that debt -- is the biggest concern. If you take the debt part out of the equation, there's not as much to complain about.

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cahwc12
Posts: 941
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:49 pm

Re: No Debt: Texas and Houston Worthwhile?

Postby cahwc12 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:39 am

The Patriot wrote:Greetings Everyone,

I'm a long time lurker, but finally decided to make the leap and post. I'm starting law school in Fall '13, and I have taken notice of the pessimism and general cynicism of the community here, but I feel that outlook is warranted considering the current job prospects. If you read this forum too much, it will scare you to death.

My situation is unique though in that I won't have any debt. None. I am waiting to hear from UT but if I don't get in there, it's Houston for me.

Even with zero debt, the employment prospects still scare me. But if you were in my position, how would the lack of debt alter your mentality regarding attending law school? Is the criticism here oriented more towards the general conditions of the legal market, or is the immense debt most students find themselves in the primary factor?

Are UT and U of H good choices taking into account I will be debt free upon graduation and may even have a little money in the bank? (~50k)?

Thank you very much for your time.


A lot of people post on here and say they have a unique situation because debt is not an issue, and the reasons are almost always one of two things--parents (most common by far) and GI bill. The answer depends a lot on the reason you will have no debt. If it's due to the GI bill, I'd use it on Texas and probably not Houston. If it's your parents, only go to UT. And if it's your personal savings, you probably shouldn't go to either at sticker.

Also what are your numbers? This will help determine if these schools really are the best options for you, or if you could benefit (tremendously) from trying your luck at LSAT roulette again.

jeffyl00b
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:10 am

Re: No Debt: Texas and Houston Worthwhile?

Postby jeffyl00b » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:46 am

The Patriot wrote: I'm starting law school in Fall '13, and I have taken notice of the pessimism and general cynicism of the community here, but I feel that outlook is warranted considering the current job prospects. If you read this forum too much, it will scare you to death.


There is general cynicism and bad tidings on every forum. There is this on federal jobs forums, every employment forum, I used to work for the 1st worst company listed on jobvent a long time ago and saw none of what people complained about, undergrad sucks too. Even hobby websites if you were to collect anything. Hotel and travel sites.
It's the nature of people to be negative and be on the internets. The trick is to filter out what looks to be true versus what looks to be cassandra's. I look for patterns and who is posting. You can only know so much about the job market from people under 20 it feels like at times on here.

As far as the GI Bill and UT, you may want to investigate that. Constantly in the news for problems and UT not honoring the monies in the last year. I don't know if they fixed it or if that's only an undergrad issue.




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