the current state of T-14 prestige

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pissantvache
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Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby pissantvache » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:50 pm

Somewhatwayward: totally agree--something is seriously effed with this state of affairs, and I agree that things have gotten questionable even for people in our (enviable) situation. I don't want to minimize that. I guess my point is that when you don't have any information about whether you're going to perform well or poorly in school, and whether you're going to have the kind of outcome that you're looking for, and (based on your situation) you're saying that schools within a certain (very narrow) range are acceptable and the schools immediately on the other side of that range, which, to be clear, have very similar outcomes, are not OK, I need to call BS. The difference between S and CCN is easily within the margin of error, such that any categorical treatment of decisions like this--as appears to be coming into vogue here--is misguided.

ChampagnePapi wrote:
For those of us bad at math how do you come up with that numbers?

And yeah I think TLS consensus is that there's a big boost in biglaw chances with HYS over CCN, which theroretically changes the calculus of whether sticker is a good idea


Re: numbers, option pricing (which is a way of putting a price on transactions that have a range of possible outcomes) suggest that the things you need to know are the future value of the cash flows, the likelihood of realizing those cash flows, the cost to exercise those cash flows, and the risk free rate (i'm putting aside the time to maturity since that, under black-scholes, operates in conjunction with the likelihood of realizing cash flows (aka annual volatility)). Conceptually it doesn't make sense to use black-scholes here because volatility isn't lognormally distributed, but it's an adequate proxy. And my point is that most of the inputs at stanford and CCN are basically the same (though not necessarily at Y/H): cost of attendance is really similar, when you make biglaw you make pretty much the same (perhaps there are cost of living considerations but that's sorta down the rabbit hole), and the risk-free rate is the same. So the only meaningful variable appears to be the likelihood of biglaw, and that, as shown by the NLJ250 thing and a bunch of other information, really isn't all that different. Perhaps stanford is better (although I'm not willing to concede that; the californian legal market is terrible right now), but it's not enough better to materially change the option value, in my mind. That said, I haven't done the calculations. And if someone asked me to pay $5000 extra to go to stanford, i probably would, largely because of the prestige and the quality of life. But as a strictly financial matter, it seems to me that the distinctions that get drawn around here are insane.

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sinfiery
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Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby sinfiery » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:52 pm

Wow, that post has officially scared me.


Do you think less railroading occurs when you get to firms generally regarded as more prestigious?

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vanwinkle
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Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:01 pm

pissantvache wrote:So all this reasoning applies to law schools generally rather than just non HYS schools. You all are talking like going to S at sticker is worth it, but not CCN, but the reasoning behind that proposition (debt!) is just crazy. If you go to S at sticker, you will have to do biglaw for the same number of years as if you go to CCN. Your longer-term options are not materially better. Biglaw sucks. Having S will not generate a higher salary for you that will make sticker there somehow "worth it." And if the only concern is the likelihood of getting biglaw (admittedly somewhat, but not a lot, higher at S), then being sophisticated about this would involve going and understanding theories of option pricing, forecasting payment streams, trying to figure out an actual likelihood of getting biglaw at C versus S, and going from there. If anything, I can't imagine that the option-priced value of S is more than $5k more than the value at C (and that's being generous). So this whole "HYS at sticker = OK, but nowhere else" proposition strikes me as crap, at least as between HYS and CCN. Rather, it's a reflection of law student groupthink regarding the quality of schools in a manner that in no way is reflective of anything approaching reality. CCN at sticker is a much better deal than a lot of you give it credit for.


Would you be this irrationally butthurt if you weren't a CCN student?

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sinfiery
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Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby sinfiery » Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:04 pm

Says the HYS student whose domain is being dismantled by dat financial analysis. :mrgreen:

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vanwinkle
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Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:08 pm

sinfiery wrote:Says the HYS student whose domain is being dismantled by dat financial analysis. :mrgreen:

Are you that impressed by people throwing around important-sounding phrases like "option pricing"? I can unequivocally overstate information through erudite elaboration if such overly intellectual exposition induces your agreement. Or, you know, I can fucking speak English. Very little irritates me more than people whose main persuasion tool is "look, I sound like an economist, trust me".

So, since I claim to favor substance, have some substance. I'm not too familiar with Stanford, but I can easily highlight the "value-adding" differences between H/Y and CLS:

1) H/Y offer legitimate need-based aid to already-admitted students. CLS does not. If you can get a scholarship to CLS, then financially that's much better (and outside the scope of our discussion of sticker-vs-sticker). If you go to CLS without pre-awarded merit aid, you will pay sticker, period. If you attend H/Y your need status will be considered, post-enrollment, and I can personally attest that the awards can be substantial. Someone with a financial background similar to mine, who chose from HLS or CLS "at sticker", could end up actually realistically paying $40-60K less at HLS over three years, and possibly get more.

2) Employment options are better at H/Y. Your odds of getting jobs are slightly higher; I guess you could call the difference "within the margin of error" if you didn't know what a margin of error was. In an individual year, you could argue the difference was so small as to not likely indicate anything. The problem is that historically, in both good years and bad, there has been a small but real gap in placement numbers. Consistent year-over-year data is what you use to show data points for individual years, which might each on their own have a wider margin of error, do actually represent a long-term tangible difference. And sure, by itself, it's not a huge difference, but it's also rarely the sole reason given in real discussions like these.

3) Long-term employment opportunities are different. Anyone who tells you otherwise is full of shit. Jokes about Obama and SCOTUS aside, HYS absolutely dominate in academia, in places like the DOJ, and at many of the top law firms nationwide. And pedigree is becoming more markedly important as the hiring market has shrunk. CLS has strength, maybe even equal strength in NYC itself, but good luck anywhere else. In a place like Texas, for example, HYS are well-known and well-respected, but otherwise the vast majority of lawyers there are from UVA, UT, or other Southern schools. You have a bigger network down there to tap into, and your name is worth much more when billing you out to clients, if you're from HYS.

And don't try to tell me CLS makes up for it by being "stronger" in NYC. Anyone believes that, I've got a bridge to sell you.

4) H/Y have massive endowments, which translates to substantially stronger LRAPs than other schools. The safety net you get is incredibly bigger than at a school like CLS.

To tell you something right away about CLS' LRAP, their website refers to it as "LRAP for Public Interest Lawyers". And they very heavily push people into IBR to reduce their own costs. By just paying your IBR payment for you, they leave you carrying the balance until the federal government forgives your loan. For most public interest lawyers, IBR payments won't even cover interest, so you keep carrying your full principal. This actually means you're trapped in public service for 10 years; if you went private for any reason before then, you'd still be on the hook for the full $200K.

H/Y aren't so limited; they'll cover loans for people in any legal employment, public or private, below the eligibility threshold. They'll even cover some non-legal public service employment. And HLS LIPP deals with your loans by making your standard monthly payment for you, whacking both interest and principal over 10 years. Want to leave LRAP-eligible employment after 7-8 years? At H/Y, the majority of your loan principal will have been repaid. At CLS, you'll leave with $200K still owed to Sallie Mae.

Like I said, massively better safety net.

Conclusion:

Are the small but tangible differences in initial employment prospects enough, by themselves, to justify H/Y over CLS? Yes. Are they enough, by themselves, to justify "HYS or bust"? Maybe, if you have no $$ waiting at CLS. When added with everything else, though, the differences between schools is larger and more obvious. H/Y is potentially less expensive, has better short and long term employment prospects, and has a far better safety net if you don't get a salary that'll pay off your loans. If someone is rationally risk-averse and debt-averse, then yes, "HYS or don't go" could be TCR.

(I'm not saying this as someone who doesn't respect CLS. It's a perfectly fine school full of brilliant young minds. I'm saying it as someone who thinks you'd have to be fucking crazy to go to law school with anything but the best possible shot right now.)

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sinfiery
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Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby sinfiery » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:15 pm

Well then.

I would feel bad but I was joking and do quite agree there is a definite HYS tier for legitimate reasons, many of which you pointed out.

Also, as a finance major, no his "fancy" words didn't win me over, lol.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:01 pm

It really is a question of options. The vast majority of 0Ls don't really understand what they're getting into. Borrowing sticker debt at CCN means you are chaining yourself to biglaw—if your biglaw prospects sink before you even get started, you're going down with them; if you get it, you're stuck with it. For the rare well-informed 0L who can envision what his or her career trajectory will be like 5, 10 years down the road and actually wants it, then CCN is still "worth it," probably, depending on your risk tolerance. But I think this totally informed 0L is pretty much nonexistent, and I think most people simply do not understand what they're getting into. HYS leave at least a few more doors open and provide something more of a safety net.

pissantvache
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Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby pissantvache » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:15 pm

Vanwinkle, I don't know why you got all pissed (also noting that I wasn't the one who said that you were getting "dismantled."). But whatever. Someone earlier asked about the "math" I was doing, and I thought I would explain what I was thinking. That's it. And I was thinking of it in terms of finance and options, which it's hard to talk about without using concepts like volatility as a stand-in for risk. Sorry if you thought I was trying to impress everyone with my brilliance; not my intention.

Second, I didn't say that stanford was a worse school. In fact, I said that I would have gone to stanford. I was simply responding to what I took to be shrill proclamations that the CCN tier wasn't worth it when Stanford was--which, by the way, I was careful to discuss as questions at sticker, thus excluding things like need-based aid.

You guys have reminded me why I don't enjoy participating on this board. Best of luck.

timbs4339
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Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:20 pm

vanwinkle wrote:4) H/Y have massive endowments, which translates to substantially stronger LRAPs than other schools. The safety net you get is incredibly bigger than at a school like CLS.

To tell you something right away about CLS' LRAP, their website refers to it as "LRAP for Public Interest Lawyers". And they very heavily push people into IBR to reduce their own costs. By just paying your IBR payment for you, they leave you carrying the balance until the federal government forgives your loan. For most public interest lawyers, IBR payments won't even cover interest, so you keep carrying your full principal. This actually means you're trapped in public service for 10 years; if you went private for any reason before then, you'd still be on the hook for the full $200K.

H/Y aren't so limited; they'll cover loans for people in any legal employment, public or private, below the eligibility threshold. They'll even cover some non-legal public service employment. And HLS LIPP deals with your loans by making your standard monthly payment for you, whacking both interest and principal over 10 years. Want to leave LRAP-eligible employment after 7-8 years? At H/Y, the majority of your loan principal will have been repaid. At CLS, you'll leave with $200K still owed to Sallie Mae.

Like I said, massively better safety net.


I can't disagree with most of the post, but as someone on CLS LRAP you're way off base with the description of the program. First, they don't push people into IBR since they require you to be on the 10 year schedule to qualify. Second, they start forgiving your LRAP loan balance after year 3. So after 7 years in public interest you will have the majority of the debt paid down and not owe CLS a dime on the LRAP loan. What they do is cut you a check twice a year for your loan obligations that year, and if you leave before three years are up you owe them that amount at 5%. From years 4-5 you owe 67% and 33% respectively, and after year 5 100% of the loan is forgiven. You certainly won't leave PI after 7 years owing 200K unless you blow the LRAP check on hookers.

It does only cover public interest employment but the number of people not working in biglaw/boutique/AIII/gov/PI is like 5% or less of the class. It's not perfect but it's considered one of the better LRAPs out there.

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smaug_
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Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby smaug_ » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:38 pm

vanwinkle wrote:If you go to CLS without pre-awarded merit aid, you will pay sticker, period. If you attend H/Y your need status will be considered, post-enrollment, and I can personally attest that the awards can be substantial. Someone with a financial background similar to mine, who chose from HLS or CLS "at sticker", could end up actually realistically paying $40-60K less at HLS over three years, and possibly get more.


vanwinkle, I don't know about the veracity of half of the things in your post (and I don't really care because HYS was never a possibility for me anyway) but this is flatly wrong. It is getting to the point where I feel like I need to dig up my award to show people on TLS how absurd the CW on this stuff is. My GPA was at the floor for CLS. I was given a sizable award. I doubt that I was given this award because of my numbers as my number are shit for CLS. Moreover, I didn't receive a Hamilton/Butler but I still received aid. I also know I'm not alone- other people receive moderate scholarships that are not pre-awarded merit aid.

The rest of it, sure, fine, you're probably right. Other things being equal things being equal people should definitely go to HYS and the need based aid that most people probably get from HYS makes the conversation moot. I'm just tired of people telling me my aid package doesn't exist.

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Flash
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Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby Flash » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:54 pm

While I agree with most of what he said, I find it hilarious that VW calls someone out for lumping CCN in with HYS then lumps H in with Y. Y and COAP shit all over H and LIPP.

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vanwinkle
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Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:11 pm

pissantvache wrote:I was careful to discuss as questions at sticker, thus excluding things like need-based aid.

Well, since HYS need-based aid is determined post-admission, it's something you can get even if you pay "at sticker". Unlike at CCN, at least to my knowledge. Which was my point.

hibiki wrote:The rest of it, sure, fine, you're probably right. Other things being equal things being equal people should definitely go to HYS and the need based aid that most people probably get from HYS makes the conversation moot. I'm just tired of people telling me my aid package doesn't exist.

I'll concede here; I'd not heard of this happening this way before, but if you're saying it does, then you know better than I do.

Flash wrote:While I agree with most of what he said, I find it hilarious that VW calls someone out for lumping CCN in with HYS then lumps H in with Y. Y and COAP shit all over H and LIPP.

I never even tried to claim H and Y were the same. I'm pretty sure you'll agree with the statement that H and Y both put CCN to shame. That was all that I said. You want to trumpet COAP's virtues even over LIPP, don't let me stand in your way.




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