What should I do?

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wonderwall87
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What should I do?

Postby wonderwall87 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:46 am

Looking for honest advice: I am 26, I have been working as a freelance marketing consultant/freelance writer for sometime now, mainly because I took a year off to have a baby and with a gap in my resume I have found it extremely hard to get back into a firm. I want/ed to go to law school, got a 160 LSAT, nice GPA, a lot of personal softs on the apps. So far I was waitlisted on Fordham, accepted to Cardozo with $15k, Brooklyn with 20K and Hofstra with 40K. I am at a loss - I want to go to law school, get my career started down a different path but I, like most of you, can't afford the risk. Hofstra is enticing with the 40K but obviously its an incredibly low ranking school and with high stipulations. I loved Cardozo but with only 15K a year the debt will be too high for me to risk.... I am not at a point to put another year of my life on hold to do another round of LSAT prep and retake ( I took it twice) & I can't really relocate outside of NY.... is it worth it to take Hofstra's offer if your alternatives outside of law school don't appear to be that lucrative?

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CaptainLeela
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Re: What should I do?

Postby CaptainLeela » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:57 am

wonderwall87 wrote:Looking for honest advice: I am 26, I have been working as a freelance marketing consultant/freelance writer for sometime now, mainly because I took a year off to have a baby and with a gap in my resume I have found it extremely hard to get back into a firm. I want/ed to go to law school, got a 160 LSAT, nice GPA, a lot of personal softs on the apps. So far I was waitlisted on Fordham, accepted to Cardozo with $15k, Brooklyn with 20K and Hofstra with 40K. I am at a loss - I want to go to law school, get my career started down a different path but I, like most of you, can't afford the risk. Hofstra is enticing with the 40K but obviously its an incredibly low ranking school and with high stipulations. I loved Cardozo but with only 15K a year the debt will be too high for me to risk.... I am not at a point to put another year of my life on hold to do another round of LSAT prep and retake ( I took it twice) & I can't really relocate outside of NY.... is it worth it to take Hofstra's offer if your alternatives outside of law school don't appear to be that lucrative?


But you're totally in the position to take on 100k of non-dischargable debt for a 50/50 shot at employment that will set you on a career arc for the rest of your life?

I try REALLY hard to be supportive on this site, but we're THE SAME age and I can tell you that you have plenty of time. This is a BAD decision. This attitude makes me so upset. It's a complete refusal to look at long-term cost benefit because you're uncomfortable now. Please don't do this.

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untar614
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Re: What should I do?

Postby untar614 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:59 am

unless your dad is partner at a firm he can hand you a job at, no. you'll still take on a ton of debt, including cost of living, that hofstra probably won't give you the opportunity to reasonably be able to repay. you'd really just be making your situation worse. If you have a baby to take care of, you really can't be doing that. If you're not in position to retake right now, go do some legwork at finding a better job. Not saying its easy, but better than creating a debt sinkhole for yourself. Go work for a while, take some time, save some money and work on improving on the LSAT til you can get at least upper 160s, then go to a better NY school like Fordham with some $$.

timbs4339
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Re: What should I do?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:00 am

CaptainLeela wrote: It's a complete refusal to look at long-term cost benefit because you're uncomfortable now. Please don't do this.


Welcome to America.

/politrolling

wonderwall87
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Re: What should I do?

Postby wonderwall87 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:18 am

Thanks for your response. Its not a complete refusal, as I am asking for a reason... I wanted to know if there were p some sort of positive potential in taking this offer, in my situation...The offer of $40,000 a year scholarship was initially hard to ignore because it felt like I was being given a real shot at the next chapter in my life but I do know where Hofstra stands so I am inclined to deny it and not attend LS in the fall. In this case I would then have to find a full time position. However, right now in my family life, I have the opportunity to take the next three years and go to school while my husband delays going to graduate school himself to allow for this. I do not know if such will be the case in a year from now...
Also part of why I asked was because I noticed that on LST, even the higher rated schools like BLS and Cardozo, had around half of the grads employed so the employment demographics were not that different, so I am assuming based on your responses, that even if one manages to maintain scholarship and is part of the 50% that does gain full time employment thereafter, the jobs simply are far lower paying than schools like Cardozo?

timbs4339
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Re: What should I do?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:43 am

wonderwall87 wrote:Thanks for your response. Its not a complete refusal, as I am asking for a reason... I wanted to know if there were p some sort of positive potential in taking this offer, in my situation...The offer of $40,000 a year scholarship was initially hard to ignore because it felt like I was being given a real shot at the next chapter in my life but I do know where Hofstra stands so I am inclined to deny it and not attend LS in the fall. In this case I would then have to find a full time position. However, right now in my family life, I have the opportunity to take the next three years and go to school while my husband delays going to graduate school himself to allow for this. I do not know if such will be the case in a year from now...
Also part of why I asked was because I noticed that on LST, even the higher rated schools like BLS and Cardozo, had around half of the grads employed so the employment demographics were not that different, so I am assuming based on your responses, that even if one manages to maintain scholarship and is part of the 50% that does gain full time employment thereafter, the jobs simply are far lower paying than schools like Cardozo?


What are the stips on that Hofstra scholarship? If they are top 1/3 or so, then it's not worth it

The difference between employment is marginal at the high end. Cardozo might place 2x or 3x more students into large firms than Hofstra- but that just means Cardozo places 12% instead of 4%. For the rest of the jobs, they'll be similar paying, 40-60K to start, as a DA/PD/small firm practitioner (therefore not able to pay back the 200K in debt you need to attend the school). The difference is the stips.
Last edited by timbs4339 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck
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Re: What should I do?

Postby BigZuck » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:44 am

If these were my options I would not go to law school. Especially considering that doing so might quite literally take food out of my child's mouth. You need to retake and go to a better school for cheaper or just get a job.

wonderwall87
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Re: What should I do?

Postby wonderwall87 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:54 am

What are the stips on that Hofstra scholarship? If they are top 1/3 or so, then it's not worth it

The difference between employment is marginal at the high end. Cardozo might place 2x or 3x more students into large firms than Hofstra- but that just means Cardozo places 12% instead of 4%. For the rest of the jobs, they'll be similar paying, 40-60K to start, as a DA/PD/small firm practitioner (therefore not able to pay back the 200K in debt you need to attend the school). The difference is the stips.[/quote]

Its top 40% to retain 100%, I just got acceptance email from St Johns, also 40,000, also top 40% to retain 100%, top 55% to retain 75%, top 65% to retain 55%. But if I end up only top 65% to receive 20K I basically should have just gone to Cardozo with their offer....

BigZuck
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Re: What should I do?

Postby BigZuck » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:06 am

wonderwall87 wrote:What are the stips on that Hofstra scholarship? If they are top 1/3 or so, then it's not worth it

The difference between employment is marginal at the high end. Cardozo might place 2x or 3x more students into large firms than Hofstra- but that just means Cardozo places 12% instead of 4%. For the rest of the jobs, they'll be similar paying, 40-60K to start, as a DA/PD/small firm practitioner (therefore not able to pay back the 200K in debt you need to attend the school). The difference is the stips.


Its top 40% to retain 100%, I just got acceptance email from St Johns, also 40,000, also top 40% to retain 100%, top 55% to retain 75%, top 65% to retain 55%. But if I end up only top 65% to receive 20K I basically should have just gone to Cardozo with their offer....[/quote]

The reality is that unless you're like top third from these types of schools then you should just drop out anyway because anything lower than that is quite risky.

But please, don't go to any of these schools, you have a child to think of here so you need to be even more careful than the average law school applicant.

In your position I wouldn't go to any school ranked lower than Fordham. And if I went to Fordham it would have to be on a SUBSTANTIAL scholarship. Maybe I would consider a Cardozo type school on a full ride but only with the full realization that I might waste three years of my life and have nothing to show for it.

And I don't think your partner's grad school should have anything to do with this, more than likely he would also be making a mistake doing whatever he is planning on doing unless its a certain type of degree. Grad/professional school is not worth it more often than not, it's a time suck and a money suck that usually doesn't provide the types of benefits we hope/think it will provide.

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paranoia4ya
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Re: What should I do?

Postby paranoia4ya » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:17 am

You have to factor in how much income your family will be generating while you are in school, and how stable of a position your husband has. If he is making serious bank, I would always recommend going to the best school. However, I am skeptical of taking on debt of any kind because there are too many things that could go wrong. Talk to hofstra and st. johns and see if they would consider changing their stipulations. When a school puts a stipulation that high, they expect a substantial amount of people receiving those rewards to lose their scholly.

How much of your education will be financed by debt?
Last edited by paranoia4ya on Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lincoln
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Re: What should I do?

Postby Lincoln » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:20 am

Assuming you actually are interested in a career and don't have a SO supporting you if law doesn't pan out, do NOT go to any of these schools under these conditions. I think it's one thing to take a gamble if you're 22 and can move back in with your parents when you drop out after not being top 10%, but playing the lottery in this way with a kid is just downright irresponsible.

Moreover, the job market is picking up. If your field is a dead-end, consider transitioning into a growing field.

wonderwall87
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Re: What should I do?

Postby wonderwall87 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:25 am

I really appreciate your advice, that is exactly my fear, 3 years wasted. If I would b able to retain a full scholarship throughout law school, which sounds tough with such stipulations, I would be okay (not thrilled by any means) with starting salary around 60k if eventually that would grow into a substantial salary down the line. My husband, thank G-d, is a software engineer in the financial industry, so he is making a pretty nice salary (110-120k) and without a masters/PHD this could go upwards of 200k and with the graduate degree even higher. He actually interviewed a few lawyers looking to move into programming :roll: if I had his skill set I would follow his lead... But that's simply not where my strengths lie. I believe that I have certain skills that would lead me to excel I law school, but I would be foolish to assume I will be successful without actually attending, so I cannot obviously say with certainty I can achieve top 40%. Maybe you guys are right and if all I can expect is 60k after 3 years of law school I might as well find something else now....

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banjo
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Re: What should I do?

Postby banjo » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:26 am

People would tell you the same thing if you had Cardozo. The LSAT, not law school, is the first page of the next chapter in your life. T14 or bust, and even T14 is risky if fully financed by debt.

timbs4339
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Re: What should I do?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:49 pm

Yeah, try to negotiate with SJ and Hofstra. If you can work them down to top 75% to retain full, then it's not the worst move in the world because if you are bottom 25% you should undoubtedly drop out. If they won't budge, retake.

They set them at those onerous 40% cutoffs for a reason. If you end up at median, it's a point where you might think you still have a reasonable shot at a job and decide to stay. If they were lower, like 80% or 90%, then most people who lose it will reason that they don't have what it takes and just drop out.

I'd say 60K is optimistic even for the 50% who do become lawyers (remember, a lot of people are working part-time, temporary, or short-term jobs). But if COL is covered, and you can get out with ~30K of debt, that would be about what I think those schools are worth.
Last edited by timbs4339 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: What should I do?

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:01 pm

Retake the LSAT. What's your GPA?




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