Where to ED to?

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Where to ED to next cycle for PI/Govt?

Columbia
5
20%
Chicago
1
4%
NYU
15
60%
Penn
2
8%
GULC
0
No votes
UCLA
2
8%
 
Total votes: 25

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twenty
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Where to ED to?

Postby twenty » Thu May 02, 2013 2:47 pm

Hi cool kids!

EDing next year. Taking on as much debt as I possibly can, and then going for LRAP. I would rather not go to law school than do Biglaw.

Career aspirations are JAG, and secondarily a DA's office.

I'm in a unique position that, no matter what happens, I can get an OGC spot at a large federal agency, making me automatically eligible for LRAP upon graduation in the absolute worst case scenario. So realistically, the only thing I care about is the likelihood of getting a kick-ass PI position and my likelihood of getting in via ED.

The catch is that I have to be working in the OGC office as a paralegal for one hour a week for three years. So as long as I maintain that, my fall-back option is OGC. UVA, Duke, and Michigan don't apply here because my agency doesn't have an OGC office in those locations.

Stats: 166, MA URM, No GPA.
This cycle: Rejected or waitlisted at every school. In particular, rejected at C+C, waitlisted NYU, rejected GULC, waitlisted UCLA.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby Doorkeeper » Thu May 02, 2013 2:57 pm

Bump up that LSAT in June then go for HYS for prestigious PI.

If not, then NYU or Columbia.

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twenty
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby twenty » Thu May 02, 2013 3:13 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:Bump up that LSAT in June then go for HYS for prestigious PI.

If not, then NYU or Columbia.


Can't retake since I'm maxed out. Any thoughts between NYU and Columbia?

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby NoodleyOne » Thu May 02, 2013 3:16 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:Bump up that LSAT in June then go for HYS for prestigious PI.

If not, then NYU or Columbia.


Can't retake since I'm maxed out. Any thoughts between NYU and Columbia?

Columbia evidently has a pretty shitty PI advising, and NYU is known for it's PI focus... So, yeah.

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Teflon_Don
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby Teflon_Don » Thu May 02, 2013 3:24 pm

NoodleyOne wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:Bump up that LSAT in June then go for HYS for prestigious PI.

If not, then NYU or Columbia.


Can't retake since I'm maxed out. Any thoughts between NYU and Columbia?

Columbia evidently has a pretty shitty PI advising, and NYU is known for it's PI focus... So, yeah.

So NYU or Columbia for PI??

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Micdiddy
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby Micdiddy » Thu May 02, 2013 4:34 pm

I there a realistic chance in hell you'll get into NYU eding with a 166??
I would Ed to the school with the best balance of great school + realistically will take you. Not sure if NYU is that choice. If you strike out on your Ed then the test of your cycle will likely go exactly how it just went.

Also, have you asked any school that Waitlisted you if you can defer an admit? Trying that first sounds better then taking another chance and maybe striking out again.

Edit: saw you are urm. I'm not well versed in urm chances, so maybe NYU is a good shot.
Last edited by Micdiddy on Thu May 02, 2013 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby Doorkeeper » Thu May 02, 2013 4:36 pm

Also, why no GPA? That could be holding you back.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby jbagelboy » Thu May 02, 2013 4:46 pm

I went with NYU. You were WL'd this cycle, which by some loosely associated logic could imply that you have a stronger shot ED than the schools at which you were rejected. It's also arguably the best of your options for PI, although I disagree with the assumption that Columbia and esp. Chicago are worse for placing into strictly government jobs like JAG or DA's. My second bet would be Georgetown, since its more realistic given your performance this cycle, and I'm pretty sure it would be sufficiently prestigious for your goals.

UCLA is too regional, CC don't give you a great shot at actually getting in.

FWIW I would say UVA if there was any way you could swing it.

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ajclark1992
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby ajclark1992 » Thu May 02, 2013 4:53 pm

jbagelboy wrote:I went with NYU. You were WL'd this cycle, which by some loosely associated logic could imply that you have a stronger shot ED than the schools at which you were rejected. It's also arguably the best of your options for PI, although I disagree with the assumption that Columbia and esp. Chicago are worse for placing into strictly government jobs like JAG or DA's. My second bet would be Georgetown, since its more realistic given your performance this cycle, and I'm pretty sure it would be sufficiently prestigious for your goals.

UCLA is too regional, CC don't give you a great shot at actually getting in.

FWIW I would say UVA if there was any way you could swing it.


If I had enough experience to say that this is the credited response, I would say that this is the credited response.

firstimer
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby firstimer » Thu May 02, 2013 5:05 pm

Given that you would be ED'ing, I'm assuming you would probably be paying sticker at each of these schools?

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twenty
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby twenty » Thu May 02, 2013 5:23 pm

Micdiddy wrote:Also, have you asked any school that Waitlisted you if you can defer an admit?


Interesting idea. I'll do this -- have you heard of this ever working, though?

Given that you would be ED'ing, I'm assuming you would probably be paying sticker at each of these schools?


Yeah, but the variation of sticker cost is a moot point. It doesn't matter if I end up paying 120k or 400k, it's still going to come down to LRAP.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby Micdiddy » Thu May 02, 2013 5:30 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:
Micdiddy wrote:Also, have you asked any school that Waitlisted you if you can defer an admit?


Interesting idea. I'll do this -- have you heard of this ever working, though?


Yes, yes I have heard of this working. I'd try to find threads to link to but on my smart phone.

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twenty
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby twenty » Thu May 02, 2013 5:41 pm

Fabulous, thanks for the heads-up. :)

firstimer
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby firstimer » Thu May 02, 2013 5:55 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:Yeah, but the variation of sticker cost is a moot point. It doesn't matter if I end up paying 120k or 400k, it's still going to come down to LRAP.


I may sound a little gruff here, and if so, apologies in advance. I am fairly debt averse, but I truly question the wisdom of the "taking on as much debt as possible because it's covered by LRAP" mentality (even to attend one of Chicago, Columbia, or NYU).

NYU (which seems to have one of the better LRAPs in my opinion because it has strong negative amortization assistance), for example, would run you at least $280,000 in debt at graduation. Two hundred and eighty thousand dollars. At 6.8% every year. This kind of debt load is barely defensible if you have a $160k salary job waiting for you, but since you're going the PI route, you will not make enough money to pay off even the interest on the debt, meaning that your debt load will keep increasing after graduation.

"But the LRAP!" you may say, and yes, the LRAP program will theoretically cover your IBR payments, with the federal government picking up the balance after you've finished your 10th year in public interest.

However, this only works if you 1) manage to get a career in PI, and 2) manage to hold down a job in PI for ten years, both of which are no small feats in this economy. And unless you have a contract from that government agency guaranteeing you employment for ten years, there's a risk you may lose your govt. job as well, given the increased focus on budget cuts, sequesters, etc.

That debt load is a mighty large axe hanging over your head for 10 years, and if god forbid, you can't find a good PI law job after graduation (disqualifying you from LRAP), or even a good PI job after graduation (disqualifying you from the Fed's 10-year loan forgiveness program), OR you lose your PI job / back-up government job any time before that 10-year mark hits and aren't able to find another one quickly, you would be facing a catastrophic personal financial situation (unless you come from a loaded family or have other significant personal assets).

All this ignores any other goals you may have in life besides your career, including potentially starting a family, buying a house through a mortgage, etc. Once a creditor see's a $300k debt balance that's growing, it's hard to convince him that you're worth lending to at a reasonable rate.

Disclaimer: I'm an 0L (so feel free to ignore me) but I have lots of friends who are now graduating with large debt loads and coming to grips with the consequences of their choices. Please be careful. It's tough enough facing unemployment in this economy without facing hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt as well.

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twenty
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby twenty » Thu May 02, 2013 6:27 pm

firstimer wrote:However, this only works if you 1) manage to get a career in PI, and 2) manage to hold down a job in PI for ten years, both of which are no small feats in this economy. And unless you have a contract from that government agency guaranteeing you employment for ten years, there's a risk you may lose your govt. job as well, given the increased focus on budget cuts, sequesters, etc.


My agency specifically grants status (the federal equivalent to tenure) after three years of service, and I'm at 2.5 years. By the time I started law school, I would definitely have status. Status means that if I did ever did get laid off by my agency, I get preference in front of everyone else who applies for the same job.

That said, I totally understand where you're coming from. I feel like my chances of not getting "a" LRAP-eligible spot are pretty low; low enough to justify some insane amount of debt. I would absolutely not recommend this to a K-JD who "really wanted PI/Govt like, you know, ACLU!"

All this ignores any other goals you may have in life besides your career, including potentially starting a family, buying a house through a mortgage, etc. Once a creditor see's a $300k debt balance that's growing, it's hard to convince him that you're worth lending to at a reasonable rate.


This definitely scares me. I am a family guy, and I'd like to buy a house at some point. :/

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Rahviveh
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby Rahviveh » Thu May 02, 2013 6:38 pm

firstimer wrote:That debt load is a mighty large axe hanging over your head for 10 years, and if god forbid, you can't find a good PI law job after graduation (disqualifying you from LRAP), or even a good PI job after graduation (disqualifying you from the Fed's 10-year loan forgiveness program), OR you lose your PI job / back-up government job any time before that 10-year mark hits and aren't able to find another one quickly, you would be facing a catastrophic personal financial situation (unless you come from a loaded family or have other significant personal assets).


This is not true. If he loses his PI job before year 10, he would continue to be on IBR, just not LRAP. That is not necessarily a catastrophic financial situation (10-15% of your AGI). Also, he only needs to make a total of 120 payments for PSLF - they do not need to be within a ten-year period.

This definitely scares me. I am a family guy, and I'd like to buy a house at some point. :/


I would do your own research on this and find out how difficult it is to secure a home loan with a large student loan balance. People automatically assume $300k in student debt = you can't get a mortgage. From graduates I've talked to, this is not the case and you will be judged based on your monthly payment, which will be small if you are on an income repayment plan.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby francesfarmer » Thu May 02, 2013 6:59 pm

firstimer wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:Yeah, but the variation of sticker cost is a moot point. It doesn't matter if I end up paying 120k or 400k, it's still going to come down to LRAP.


I may sound a little gruff here, and if so, apologies in advance. I am fairly debt averse, but I truly question the wisdom of the "taking on as much debt as possible because it's covered by LRAP" mentality (even to attend one of Chicago, Columbia, or NYU).

NYU (which seems to have one of the better LRAPs in my opinion because it has strong negative amortization assistance), for example, would run you at least $280,000 in debt at graduation. Two hundred and eighty thousand dollars. At 6.8% every year. This kind of debt load is barely defensible if you have a $160k salary job waiting for you, but since you're going the PI route, you will not make enough money to pay off even the interest on the debt, meaning that your debt load will keep increasing after graduation.

"But the LRAP!" you may say, and yes, the LRAP program will theoretically cover your IBR payments, with the federal government picking up the balance after you've finished your 10th year in public interest.

However, this only works if you 1) manage to get a career in PI, and 2) manage to hold down a job in PI for ten years, both of which are no small feats in this economy. And unless you have a contract from that government agency guaranteeing you employment for ten years, there's a risk you may lose your govt. job as well, given the increased focus on budget cuts, sequesters, etc.

That debt load is a mighty large axe hanging over your head for 10 years, and if god forbid, you can't find a good PI law job after graduation (disqualifying you from LRAP), or even a good PI job after graduation (disqualifying you from the Fed's 10-year loan forgiveness program), OR you lose your PI job / back-up government job any time before that 10-year mark hits and aren't able to find another one quickly, you would be facing a catastrophic personal financial situation (unless you come from a loaded family or have other significant personal assets).

All this ignores any other goals you may have in life besides your career, including potentially starting a family, buying a house through a mortgage, etc. Once a creditor see's a $300k debt balance that's growing, it's hard to convince him that you're worth lending to at a reasonable rate.

Disclaimer: I'm an 0L (so feel free to ignore me) but I have lots of friends who are now graduating with large debt loads and coming to grips with the consequences of their choices. Please be careful. It's tough enough facing unemployment in this economy without facing hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt as well.


This scenario may be the case at NYU, but not at Columbia. Columbia's LRAP will pay a monthly amount that corresponds to a ten year repayment plan even if you are on 25 year IBR. This is given in the form of loans that are 100% forgiven after five years in the program (and partially after 3).

This is not to say that OP can get Columbia with a 166, I'm not sure about that. But surely other schools have this option?

firstimer
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby firstimer » Thu May 02, 2013 7:26 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:That said, I totally understand where you're coming from. I feel like my chances of not getting "a" LRAP-eligible spot are pretty low; low enough to justify some insane amount of debt. I would absolutely not recommend this to a K-JD who "really wanted PI/Govt like, you know, ACLU!"


I appreciate that - and to be fair, you seem to have much better judgement than 98% of people pursuing a fully-debt-funded public interest career. The fact that you have the federal back up is huge.

ChampagnePapi wrote:This is not true. If he loses his PI job before year 10, he would continue to be on IBR, just not LRAP. That is not necessarily a catastrophic financial situation (10-15% of your AGI). Also, he only needs to make a total of 120 payments for PSLF - they do not need to be within a ten-year period.


I didn't phrase this as well as I should have, but in order for the 120-payment PSLF to kick in, he has to be in eligible employment (meaning a public interest / govt / public service job).

Here's the worst case scenario: you lose the PI job, and can't get back into the FedGov job, and you're out of the PSLF program until you can find PI / eligible employment again. You may still be on IBR, but now you have to wait until you've made 25 years worth of payments before your debt is forgiven. And if you're not in public service, there might be a tax bomb waiting for you when that debt is forgiven at the end of the 25 years.

I would do your own research on this and find out how difficult it is to secure a home loan with a large student loan balance. People automatically assume $300k in student debt = you can't get a mortgage. From graduates I've talked to, this is not the case and you will be judged based on your monthly payment, which will be small if you are on an income repayment plan.


Very true- I'm no expert in mortgages and if you can prove that your monthly payments are covered, the lender may be willing to overlook your huge debt-to-income ratio and give you a mortgage. I still think this would be an uphill battle though. Best thing to do is to talk to someone who's been there (a graduate). In my experience, law school counselors just say "Sure, it'll be fine" without much support.

francesfarmer wrote:This scenario may be the case at NYU, but not at Columbia. Columbia's LRAP will pay a monthly amount that corresponds to a ten year repayment plan even if you are on 25 year IBR. This is given in the form of loans that are 100% forgiven after five years in the program (and partially after 3).

This is not to say that OP can get Columbia with a 166, I'm not sure about that. But surely other schools have this option?


I believe most LRAPs (Cornell and Columbia excluded, as well as maybe some of the HYS LRAP programs excluded) at the top schools link up with IBR now. That being said, Columbia's LRAP may pay the higher 10-year-schedule payment, but I believe it requires a sizeable contribution from you if you're earning above $50,000.

My basic point is this: 10 years is a long time. You may find that your interests change, that you want to switch jobs or try a new career. You may want to travel. You may want to have kids, (which are incredibly expensive to raise), or buy a house or move to a different part of the country. Life presents opportunities, and your options are going to be limited when you're dragging around a $300k ball of debt.

I can simply say that if I were the OP (and I too want a career in public interest), I would not take any of these options at sticker. I would apply to a lower ranked school and get more money. Or find another career that would allow me to help others (there are plenty) and didn't require such a huge debt load, therefore allowing me the financial flexibility and freedom to do what I want. Or keep working until I was able to retake again.

CCN opens doors, but debt closes doors, and you may well end up with more doors closed than open at the end of all of this.

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Rahviveh
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby Rahviveh » Thu May 02, 2013 7:32 pm

firstimer wrote:Here's the worst case scenario: you lose the PI job, and can't get back into the FedGov job, and you're out of the PSLF program until you can find PI / eligible employment again. You may still be on IBR, but now you have to wait until you've made 25 years worth of payments before your debt is forgiven. And if you're not in public service, there might be a tax bomb waiting for you when that debt is forgiven at the end of the 25 years.



I agree that being on the 25-year track would blow in comparison. But you implied financial ruin would await him if he cannot find another qualifying PI job quickly. He can work at McDonalds and just pay virtually nothing on IBR while he looks for more government work. The only thing he misses out on in the meantime would be LRAP (and the details of that - I am not sure of from school to school).


I can simply say that if I were the OP (and I too want a career in public interest), I would not take any of these options at sticker. I would apply to a lower ranked school and get more money. Or find another career that would allow me to help others (there are plenty) and didn't require such a huge debt load, therefore allowing me the financial flexibility and freedom to do what I want. Or keep working until you're able to retake again.


I was going to recommend this as well so OP can really minimize his risk - but is a higher-ranked school better if he wants JAG or a DA? It might be, I don't know.

My basic point is this: 10 years is a long time. You may find that your interests change, that you want to switch jobs or try a new career. You may want to travel. You may want to have kids, (which are incredibly expensive to raise), or buy a house or move to a different part of the country. Life presents opportunities, and your options are going to be limited when you're dragging around a $300k ball of debt.


I definitely agree this is a legitimate concern - OP may end up wanting to do private sector work, which would be financially irrational if he takes on this debt load

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francesfarmer
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Re: Where to ED to?

Postby francesfarmer » Thu May 02, 2013 7:34 pm

You're not wrong about debt, I just wanted to clarify that specific point because I just had a meeting with financial aid at CLS. You don't HAVE to link up with IBR there, and you have to contribute 34.5% of your income over $50,000.

OP seems to have a pretty sweet setup, though keeping debt low should still be a priority. How does NU ED feel about URMs in his LSAT range with no GPA?




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