simplycatalina wrote:+1. NU is more likely to get you to your goals OP. There's obviously risk involved but IMO is risk worth taking.
It's not just about the risk. Obviously if you miss biglaw or a solid IBR-job, you're boned. But even the people who land biglaw could get pounded hard if they don't last long in those jobs, which many don't. I get a little annoyed at how people talk about debt on here as being "worth it for the higher odds," as if that ends the conversation. Yes, its a huge factor... you're probably doubling your biglaw/clerkship chances by going to NW instead of WUSTL. But it's not like a roulette table, where if the little ball lands on "K&L Gates" or "DLA Piper" you're a winner and you get to cash in your chips for a big instant payday. $250,000 in debt can turn into 10+ years of big checks to Uncle Sam each month, and it will be easily turn into over $300,000 in total repayment, probably more like $400,000. That's even if you get lucky and land biglaw for a few years.
What if you get axed early in your career? You're toast. Or what if you want to go in-house or lateral to a smaller firm with better hours but lower pay? You just tacked on years to your repayment. And if you hate the law? Forget it, you're pretty much stuck.
I have about half the debt OP is looking at and I have a secondary market biglaw job in a very cheap city. Even under the best-case scenario (bonuses, high monthly contribution to service my debt, etc.), it will likely take me around 7 years to pay off my debt. If I stay at my soon-to-be first firm, it'd take me until I'm almost up for partnership to pay off my debt. It's scary shit. I know I'm not likely to stay there for that long. Now 1) increase my firm's turnover (its a lot lower than an NYC firm) and 2) double my debt. I'm shakin' in my boots at the thought.
I'm not saying lower-debt is always the right path, And I'm not 100% saying OP should go to WUSTL. I see both sides of the argument (i.e., I thought robespierre was really underestimating the power of an NW degree... it's very strong, and most people who want biglaw will get it). But I really want 0Ls to contemplate the debt they're taking on, because its easy to look past it. The difference in total repayment between the schools we're talking about now is about that of a house, and there are many ways (not just missing OCI) that a person can be crippled financially by that kind of debt.