UVA worth it at this price?

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UVA at 90-99K cost of attendance?

Good idea
97
92%
Bad idea
8
8%
 
Total votes: 105

User avatar
northwood
Posts: 4872
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 7:29 pm

Re: UVA worth it at this price?

Postby northwood » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:16 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:Given your current salary (and hours and marketability), it would be pretty silly to give that up for a risky degree.



this. and I may typing to the wrong poster, but If you don't like the hours or the idea of big finance, what makes you think biglaw will not be the same??

firstimer
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:22 pm

Re: UVA worth it at this price?

Postby firstimer » Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:16 pm

northwood wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:Given your current salary (and hours and marketability), it would be pretty silly to give that up for a risky degree.


this. and I may typing to the wrong poster, but If you don't like the hours or the idea of big finance, what makes you think biglaw will not be the same??


So is the answer that it's not worth it now? I should've have made my opportunity cost more clear upfront...maybe the poll would have swung dramatically.

Here's what I do know:
1. I don't want to do my current job long-term, and I don't want to live in NYC long-term. That said, my salary and boss are great.
2. I could see myself living in Virginia; probably want to stay on the east coast either way, and not somewhere too cold.
3. I'm pretty certain I won't like biglaw, but I could do it a couple of years if necessary. I think I'd better enjoy working at a boutique law firm, just because it's smaller.
4. If I budgeted properly, I could probably graduate closer to $70-75k of debt.
5. I do believe that I would like a public interest career (legal aid, prosecution, advocacy, jag, though I understand these are very hard to get), and on that salary, while debt repayment would be tough, I believe I could do it in 10 years, and still have some savings for a downpayment on a house, etc.
6. I enjoy learning, and I've liked all the classes I've sit in on.
7. While in law school, I would take the opportunity to take a couple of accounting classes. Since I was finance / acct undergrad, a couple more classes would qualify me to take the CPA exam if I wanted to go back into accounting.

Here's what I think:
1. Worse case scenario, if I hate law or strike out completely with hiring, I think I could use my current work experience to come back into the business / accounting / financial world in a smaller market at a lower salary (this might be me being incredibly naive, especially since I've heard that a JD is not that portable into other fields).
2. I would enjoy attending UVA Law and living in Charlottesville for 3 years.

Any thoughts on above? You all have been incredibly helpful so far so I thank you for the commentary and advice you've given.

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rickgrimes69
Posts: 1107
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:56 am

Re: UVA worth it at this price?

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:07 pm

Is UVA worth $90k? Objectively, yes, absolutely. That's a great price. But I'm a bit confused about your motivations here.

- You don't want to stay at your job, despite the fact that your salary, boss, hours, and (by the sound of it) job security are great.
- You don't want to work in Biglaw even though $90-99k COA is starting to push the limits of what you can handle without it. (If you can cut it down to $75k, that's a different story).
- If you hate law or strike out, there is a decent chance your old job won't wait for you, and it's going to be tough explaining a 3 year gap on your resume.
- You would be taking a substantial pay cut (we're talking $40-50k less than you're currently making) while putting yourself in a non trivial amount of debt, with plans to buy a house. You even admitted this makes no financial sense.

That's just the start of a long list of concerns I have regarding this decision. What are the pros? Does your desire to work in public interest really outweigh all of that? If all you're after is intellectual stimulation, I can think of many cheaper, more enjoyable forums for learning than law school. Go get a Masters, or your CPA - anything that won't lock you into a career that will in all likelihood be inferior to what you currently have.

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Gunnar Stahl
Posts: 1085
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:57 pm

Re: UVA worth it at this price?

Postby Gunnar Stahl » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:33 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:Is UVA worth $90k? Objectively, yes, absolutely. That's a great price. But I'm a bit confused about your motivations here.

- You don't want to stay at your job, despite the fact that your salary, boss, hours, and (by the sound of it) job security are great.
- You don't want to work in Biglaw even though $90-99k COA is starting to push the limits of what you can handle without it. (If you can cut it down to $75k, that's a different story).
- If you hate law or strike out, there is a decent chance your old job won't wait for you, and it's going to be tough explaining a 3 year gap on your resume.
- You would be taking a substantial pay cut (we're talking $40-50k less than you're currently making) while putting yourself in a non trivial amount of debt, with plans to buy a house. You even admitted this makes no financial sense.

That's just the start of a long list of concerns I have regarding this decision. What are the pros? Does your desire to work in public interest really outweigh all of that? If all you're after is intellectual stimulation, I can think of many cheaper, more enjoyable forums for learning than law school. Go get a Masters, or your CPA - anything that won't lock you into a career that will in all likelihood be inferior to what you currently have.

I agree with all of this.

firstimer
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:22 pm

Re: UVA worth it at this price?

Postby firstimer » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:44 pm

I appreciate the candid responses. I'm going to do some thinking and may present my final options in a new poll / post (making sure to fully reflect my opportunity cost this time around).

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Law Sauce
Posts: 923
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:21 pm

Re: UVA worth it at this price?

Postby Law Sauce » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:09 am

rickgrimes69 wrote:...and it's going to be tough explaining a 3 year gap on your resume. ...


People always say this and I am positive that it is incorrect. You won't have to explain anything because you don't have to hide the fact that you have a JD (you just have to explain that you do not want to practice law). To most employers this is a prestigious degree that a lot of people have that brings a lot of problem solving, critical thinking, and language skills. Scambloggers have scared tls into saying that it looks bad, but it does not, especially to the finance/accounting world. While a TTT JD coupled with a poor resume does not prove that someone is a winner, a JD from a good school coupled with a decent resume/background clearly adds to the prospective employees image of being successful, hard-working, and high achieving. I have heard so many stories of JDs opening up jobs that are not law related. Top business consulting firms interview at UVA law every year for crying out loud.

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rickgrimes69
Posts: 1107
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:56 am

Re: UVA worth it at this price?

Postby rickgrimes69 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:57 am

Law Sauce wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:...and it's going to be tough explaining a 3 year gap on your resume. ...


People always say this and I am positive that it is incorrect. You won't have to explain anything because you don't have to hide the fact that you have a JD (you just have to explain that you do not want to practice law). To most employers this is a prestigious degree that a lot of people have that brings a lot of problem solving, critical thinking, and language skills. Scambloggers have scared tls into saying that it looks bad, but it does not, especially to the finance/accounting world. While a TTT JD coupled with a poor resume does not prove that someone is a winner, a JD from a good school coupled with a decent resume/background clearly adds to the prospective employees image of being successful, hard-working, and high achieving. I have heard so many stories of JDs opening up jobs that are not law related. Top business consulting firms interview at UVA law every year for crying out loud.


Maybe before the crash this was true. But I can't think of a single positive way you can spin having an unused law degree and applying for a non-law field. It says to me one of three things:

1) You couldn't find a job as a lawyer, so you are applying here to pay the bills intending to leave as soon as you can find one.
2) You couldn't find a job as a lawyer because you are incompetent / socially inept / etc etc and are giving up.
3) You decided you didn't like being a lawyer, indicating you're unfocused and probably a flight risk.

People don't just go to law school for intellectual enrichment. They do it to become a lawyer, and someone with a JD who isn't a lawyer will understandably raise eyebrows. In this market, there are a dozen other candidates who don't raise those doubts, and no reason for a potential employer to take a risk on you.




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