Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

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Tim0thy222
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Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Tim0thy222 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:57 pm

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=147223&start=25

Most people in this thread seem to think that UVA at sticker either is a good idea, or can be a good idea if your opportunity cost is low enough.

It seems like TLS hivemind is quite a bit more cynical now about paying sticker. What changed? Is it because now we have better data and the GULC debt calculator? Is it increases in law school cost or changes in the job market? Is it because there are more 2Ls and 3Ls who have felt the pain on TLS than there were?

I ask because I am getting nervous about paying sticker, so I'm curious to see the arguments against it a little more. Hopefully others will benefit as well. To make it more specific, I am interested how this pertains to splitters who want biglaw, since $$$ at schools with reasonable biglaw placement aren't really an option as far as I know.

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shifty_eyed
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby shifty_eyed » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:01 pm

RETAKE, ED UVA.

DON'T GO TO ANY NON-HYS SCHOOL AT STICKER THOUGH.

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sinfiery
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby sinfiery » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:07 pm

If your opportunity cost is low enough, UVA at sticker is still a defensible decision, imo.


What's changed is that the COA is creeping from 250k debt at graduation to near 300 fricken thousand dollars.

SportsFan
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby SportsFan » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:11 pm

Tim0thy222 wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=147223&start=25

Most people in this thread seem to think that UVA at sticker either is a good idea, or can be a good idea if your opportunity cost is low enough.

It seems like TLS hivemind is quite a bit more cynical now about paying sticker. What changed? Is it because now we have better data and the GULC debt calculator? Is it increases in law school cost or changes in the job market? Is it because there are more 2Ls and 3Ls who have felt the pain on TLS than there were?

I ask because I am getting nervous about paying sticker, so I'm curious to see the arguments against it a little more. Hopefully others will benefit as well. To make it more specific, I am interested how this pertains to splitters who want biglaw, since $$$ at schools with reasonable biglaw placement aren't really an option as far as I know.

General logic the last 2-3 cycles was more along the lines of "pay more to go to a better school with a better chance of biglaw so you can pay it off" while this cycle its "hedge your bet on getting/staying in biglaw by getting as little debt as possible and paying it off quicker". Maybe its just me trying to justify my own decision of going to Penn and graduating with $150k-$170k in debt, but I think the current TLS hivemind is an overreaction to the poor chances of getting biglaw over the last few years. Yeah, if you're paying sticker at a non-HYS, get bottom third 1L grades and don't get biglaw, you should probably drop out after 1L. But for me, I'd rather pay that extra tuition (at least for a year) at a better school for what can be a MUCH better chance at a favorable outcome. The debts gonna suck, thats for sure, but I'd rather have biglaw and the debt than shitlaw/underemployment and less debt. But thats just me, and obviously everyone else is going to think differently.

SportsFan
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby SportsFan » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:11 pm

sinfiery wrote:If your opportunity cost is low enough, UVA at sticker is still a defensible decision, imo.


What's changed is that the COA is creeping from 250k debt at graduation to near 300 fricken thousand dollars.

Yeah, I think this is also a big part of it. I don't think people used to really consider total COA as much as they do now, so they used to just think "oh its 45k tuition for 3 years, I'll graduate with like $150k in debt." Nope, thats not how it works.

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Br3v
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Br3v » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:13 pm

I figure the link was going to be from 2009 or something but it's only just over 2 years old. When was the worse year for legal hiring after the crash?
Last edited by Br3v on Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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shifty_eyed
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby shifty_eyed » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:13 pm

I wonder if PAYE will change the hivemind reasoning.

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banjo
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby banjo » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:21 pm

Biglaw salaries have also been the same for 6-7 years, despite rising inflation/tuition.

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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby SportsFan » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:22 pm

Br3v wrote:I figure the link was going to be from 2009 or something but it's only just over 2 years old. When was the worse year for legal hiring after the crash?

IIRC, c/o 2008 was the last "recession-proof" class. Then c/o 09 was deferrals, c/o 10 was no-offered, and c/o 11 was the worst OCI. But c/o 12 had the beginning of the rebound, and from leaked data and anecdotes, it seems c/o 13 was a bit better than c/o 12, and c/o 14 either stagnated or was a bit worse than c/o 13.

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Br3v
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Br3v » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:27 pm

banjo wrote:Biglaw salaries have also been the same for 6-7 years, despite rising inflation/tuition.


I know it's naive, but I feel like if Biglaw salaries ever rise, this cycle of inoming 1Ls will be one of the first hiring classes to get the benefit of increased market pay.

de5igual
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby de5igual » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:29 pm

Two factors:

1) more transparent employment data now. The only info available in feb 2011 was the nlj report that reflected pre-ite employment rates. We knew c/o 2011 would be bad, but just didn't know how bad.
2) tuition, although still high, was quite a bit cheaper (you could take full sticker at most schools, factor in interest, and come out under 200k)

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:43 pm

f0bolous wrote:2) tuition, although still high, was quite a bit cheaper (you could take full sticker at most schools, factor in interest, and come out under 200k)

I don't think this was true in 2011. Even in 2010 tuition was generally pushing $50k.

I think that certainly in 2011, any recent graduate would tell you that owing sticker debt even with a biglaw job to pay it off is not an enviable situation. The difference truly is just in how thoroughly the "hive mind" had absorbed this message.
Last edited by dixiecupdrinking on Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tim0thy222
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Tim0thy222 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:43 pm

These seem like good points. I think the rising tuition is my biggest concern.

For me, it's becoming less about "are my chances at biglaw good enough to make it worth it?" and more about "even if I get biglaw, will this have been worth it?"

If I was rushing to pay off my debt, I could pay a good chunk off the first few years of biglaw (though still not nearly all of it), but then what if I get pushed out?

I'll have been living like I was broke during my best earning years.

I suppose biglaw could be viewed like the legal equivalent of a residency, but then that makes me wonder if whatever I'd be doing after biglaw was worth all that.

Any thoughts on what happens after biglaw? So far all I've heard is small to mid sized firms and in-house.

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sinfiery
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby sinfiery » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:47 pm

Tim0thy222 wrote:Any thoughts on what happens after biglaw? So far all I've heard is small to mid sized firms and in-house.

No one here really knows but it's basically what we are all banking our investment on... :(

SportsFan
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby SportsFan » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:50 pm

sinfiery wrote:
Tim0thy222 wrote:Any thoughts on what happens after biglaw? So far all I've heard is small to mid sized firms and in-house.

No one here really knows but it's basically what we are all banking our investment on... :(

Well, no real statistics are kept on it, but you can find plenty of anecdotes if you spend enough time in the employment forums. But yeah, it seems going in-house is the big thing. Some people also lateral to other firms (seems to generally be if they're in an "in demand" practice).

Master Tofu
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Master Tofu » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:04 pm

Tim0thy222 wrote:For me, it's becoming less about "are my chances at biglaw good enough to make it worth it?" and more about "even if I get biglaw, will this have been worth it?"


It's this. But I would rephrase the question. When you're looking at T10 sticker, that means you can get a low T1 for full scholarship. The difference between the two is your probability of landing a big firm job. Ultimately, the question is never whether law school is worth the debt; instead, it should be is working for a big firm worth the $300k debt.

For a lot of people who has gone through the process, granted with the benefit of hind sight, the answer is no.

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TheThriller
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby TheThriller » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:10 pm

It also that many of the mega-posters/most vocal TLSers were all 0Ls and 1Ls 2-3 years ago. Now they are all still active but with the addition that they are now 3Ls and graduates who have been through OCI and the legal hiring process.

Soon we will all become like this, such is the way of things

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Tim0thy222
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Tim0thy222 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:33 pm

Master Tofu wrote:
Tim0thy222 wrote:For me, it's becoming less about "are my chances at biglaw good enough to make it worth it?" and more about "even if I get biglaw, will this have been worth it?"


It's this. But I would rephrase the question. When you're looking at T10 sticker, that means you can get a low T1 for full scholarship. The difference between the two is your probability of landing a big firm job. Ultimately, the question is never whether law school is worth the debt; instead, it should be is working for a big firm worth the $300k debt.

For a lot of people who has gone through the process, granted with the benefit of hind sight, the answer is no.


But don't people who go to lower T1s generally not get jobs as lawyers? It seems to me like if you're going to hedge your bets by going to a school with bad employment prospects, you should just hedge your bets further by not going at all.

If there are T1 schools with decent job prospects that splitters can get full rides at, please enlighten me. I am interested.

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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:40 pm

Master Tofu wrote:
Tim0thy222 wrote:For me, it's becoming less about "are my chances at biglaw good enough to make it worth it?" and more about "even if I get biglaw, will this have been worth it?"


It's this. But I would rephrase the question. When you're looking at T10 sticker, that means you can get a low T1 for full scholarship. The difference between the two is your probability of landing a big firm job. Ultimately, the question is never whether law school is worth the debt; instead, it should be is working for a big firm worth the $300k debt.

For a lot of people who has gone through the process, granted with the benefit of hind sight, the answer is no.


This. Very few people with these options choose T1 full sticker. But talk to big law associates about this choice, and they will sing songs all night long about how much they wish they didn't have the debt. Also, a lot of law school applicants are horrible at understanding math/statistics, and can't understand that the employment statistics for full ride recipients at a T1 are a distinct subset from the larger employment outcomes.

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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby romothesavior » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:50 pm

I've been on TLS for four years now and I would say the biggest difference between then and now is that I no longer think sticker is ever a good idea save for maaaaybe HYS. There definitely has been a shift in the thinking. Here's why I've shifted:

1. The big reason: Even if you "win" and get big law, say a $120-145k job, and make $2,000-3,000 monthly payments during your stint in biglaw and put your bonuses towards your debt, you wouldn't get to under $100k in debt for probably 5-6 years. What if you hate it? What if you're out in 3-4 years? What if you're Lathamed in year 1? You're toast. Even if you make it 3-4 years, you've still got maybe ~$150,000 in debt even if you were fairly smart. Now you've got to pay that off on a smaller salary, which may mean a new repayment option prolonging your repayment and making your degree even more expensive. Again, this is if you're fairly lucky and do land biglaw.

2. A lesser but still important reason: Sticker gets worse every year thanks to tuition increases and occasionally interest rate increases, and has gotten much worse in just a few short years due to the eradication of subsidized loans. Maybe 200k debt at graduation was worth it when it was subsidized and at low rates. But at some point, it just becomes too much. 250k? 270k? 300k?

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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby TripTrip » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:27 pm

romothesavior wrote:The big reason: Even if you "win" and get big law, say a $120-145k job, and make $2,000-3,000 monthly payments during your stint in biglaw and put your bonuses towards your debt, you wouldn't get to under $100k in debt for probably 5-6 years. What if you hate it? What if you're out in 3-4 years? What if you're Lathamed in year 1? You're toast. Even if you make it 3-4 years, you've still got maybe ~$150,000 in debt even if you were fairly smart. Now you've got to pay that off on a smaller salary, which may mean a new repayment option prolonging your repayment and making your degree even more expensive. Again, this is if you're fairly lucky and do land biglaw.

This is what scares me about debt.

I've heard anecdotally from a Columbia graduate who paid near sticker. She has great job opportunities and an excellent career, but she still has that burden of extreme debt and will for years.

WhatOurBodiesAreFor
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby WhatOurBodiesAreFor » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:36 pm

I don't get the "if you're paying sticker and you're bottom third after 1L->drop out after 1L" thing. I mean, if you are last in your class and you just don't get it, it may be a good move. But what if you're PI-driven and your T10 has a good LRAP?

Another question, how much would TLS hivemind say is OK for T10? $150K COA? $200K COA? I can attend MVB for $210K COA per GULC's calculator. I'd be taking out loans for everything but I would probably be able to keep my debt at graduation to around $175K or so.

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Rahviveh
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Rahviveh » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:40 pm

romothesavior wrote:I've been on TLS for four years now and I would say the biggest difference between then and now is that I no longer think sticker is ever a good idea save for maaaaybe HYS. There definitely has been a shift in the thinking. Here's why I've shifted:

1. The big reason: Even if you "win" and get big law, say a $120-145k job, and make $2,000-3,000 monthly payments during your stint in biglaw and put your bonuses towards your debt, you wouldn't get to under $100k in debt for probably 5-6 years. What if you hate it? What if you're out in 3-4 years? What if you're Lathamed in year 1? You're toast. Even if you make it 3-4 years, you've still got maybe ~$150,000 in debt even if you were fairly smart. Now you've got to pay that off on a smaller salary, which may mean a new repayment option prolonging your repayment and making your degree even more expensive. Again, this is if you're fairly lucky and do land biglaw.

2. A lesser but still important reason: Sticker gets worse every year thanks to tuition increases and occasionally interest rate increases, and has gotten much worse in just a few short years due to the eradication of subsidized loans. Maybe 200k debt at graduation was worth it when it was subsidized and at low rates. But at some point, it just becomes too much. 250k? 270k? 300k?

It looks like some schools are putting the breaks on tuition increases. Boalt is one example and I hope other top schools follow their lead

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TripTrip
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby TripTrip » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:41 pm

WhatOurBodiesAreFor wrote:Another question, how much would TLS hivemind say is OK for T10? $150K COA? $200K COA? I can attend MVB for $210K COA per GULC's calculator. I'd be taking out loans for everything but I would probably be able to keep my debt at graduation to around $175K or so.

It's all about your opportunity cost. If you know you want to be a lawyer and your two options are TTT or Penn at $200k, I'd take Penn every time.

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Gunnar Stahl
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Gunnar Stahl » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:12 pm

SportsFan wrote:Well, no real statistics are kept on it, but you can find plenty of anecdotes if you spend enough time in the employment forums. But yeah, it seems going in-house is the big thing. Some people also lateral to other firms (seems to generally be if they're in an "in demand" practice).

So what? There are also plenty of anecdotes of former biglawyers either unemployed or working in shitlaw.




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