Mid-summer classic dilemma

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ronanOgara
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Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby ronanOgara » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:31 am

Hey fellas/gals, I'm in a bit of a situation here and would appreciate any input.

My numbers are 3.4 and 161, 166, and 169. 169 was my highest PT score, it was averaging in the 165-168 range. I did blueprint online and the manhattan books.
I am from south-central Pennsylvania, in the beautiful countryside.
I really want to do criminal defense/prosecution. I've done some office work in several small-law firms and I love the atmosphere and the personal interactions you get in that level of the law. I am a hometown boy and I really don't want to venture too far away for school, and needless to say,I hope to work in my area post law school.
I applied to all the PA schools including Penn and a few more T14s. I was accepted to Penn off the wait list at sticker, NYU off WL at sticker, PSU, Drexel, Villanova witht full tuition scholarships. Drexel was the only one to remove the stips. Temple gave me 2/3rds tuition.
I had deposited at Penn, but then after a long talk with family, decided to withdrawal. I would have been financing the whole thing with loans and I didn't want to go into that debt with my small law aspirations.
So I then decided to deposit at Drexel. It would be absolutely free, they are covering books, fees, etc and there is no stip. I liked the experiential education they offer and all the small-criminal attorneys said that the most important aspect for employment in that area was experience and the desire to work in that field, not necessarily the pedigree of your school.
I am aware of the LST score for Drexel and that's what concerns me...but I'm one of those people that has always wanted to be an attorney, and i would very content doing what is called shit-law.
....so TLS, am I insane?

blsingindisguise
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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:45 am

ronanOgara wrote:Hey fellas/gals, I'm in a bit of a situation here and would appreciate any input.

My numbers are 3.4 and 161, 166, and 169. 169 was my highest PT score, it was averaging in the 165-168 range. I did blueprint online and the manhattan books.
I am from south-central Pennsylvania, in the beautiful countryside.
I really want to do criminal defense/prosecution. I've done some office work in several small-law firms and I love the atmosphere and the personal interactions you get in that level of the law. I am a hometown boy and I really don't want to venture too far away for school, and needless to say,I hope to work in my area post law school.
I applied to all the PA schools including Penn and a few more T14s. I was accepted to Penn off the wait list at sticker, NYU off WL at sticker, PSU, Drexel, Villanova witht full tuition scholarships. Drexel was the only one to remove the stips. Temple gave me 2/3rds tuition.
I had deposited at Penn, but then after a long talk with family, decided to withdrawal. I would have been financing the whole thing with loans and I didn't want to go into that debt with my small law aspirations.
So I then decided to deposit at Drexel. It would be absolutely free, they are covering books, fees, etc and there is no stip. I liked the experiential education they offer and all the small-criminal attorneys said that the most important aspect for employment in that area was experience and the desire to work in that field, not necessarily the pedigree of your school.
I am aware of the LST score for Drexel and that's what concerns me...but I'm one of those people that has always wanted to be an attorney, and i would very content doing what is called shit-law.
....so TLS, am I insane?


You are the extremely rare person who is probably not crazy to turn down T6. I need to take a photo or no one will believe me.

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ronanOgara
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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby ronanOgara » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:47 am

I mean, one of the family lawyers in my hometown turned down UVA to attend Dickinson. Is it really that absurd? Debt is just a scary thing and I want to avoid it

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jchiles
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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby jchiles » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:58 am

As someone from the exact same area (think Lancaster/York/Harrisburg) with similar numbers/aspirations, I am choosing to attend PSU with the full scholarship largely because debt mitigation and staying in the region are more important to me than being in a position to work in a large firm/federal government position. Obviously somebody that has been there and done that recently can be more helpful, but I really couldn’t see how taking out debt to attend anywhere made sense for my goals. I had the same deal from Drexel but I felt more comfortable with Dickinson’s network and reputation in local firms, despite not having the complete no-strings-attached scholarship. FWIW I think Villanova’s scholarship was only conditioned on remaining in good academic standing, and I would personally opt for that school rather than Drexel. But I don’t really think Drexel is an absurd place to go, I know alumni from my undergrad who went there and are doing ok finding positions exactly like you are describing.

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jingosaur
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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby jingosaur » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:01 am

OP, I don't think your decision is a bad idea. With your small law aspirations, would you be completely okay with a job that pays between $35k and $45k out of school?

blsingindisguise
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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:04 am

goldbh7 wrote:OP, I don't think your decision is a bad idea. With your small law aspirations, would you be completely okay with a job that pays between $35k and $45k out of school?


Right this is the question. (1) Are you ok with this, and (2) are you ok with all but foreclosing the possibility of doing "biglaw" or other "prestigious" legal things with your career.

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ronanOgara
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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby ronanOgara » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:16 am

Jchiles, yeah you are right about the Villanova deal, but Drexel was able to cover all the fees, books whereas Villanova was not. I really liked Dickinson and have met so many great alumni from there, but Drexel just seemed like a better fit and Dickinson wouldn't budge on the stips. My grandfather is covering my living costs so that negated the need to stay home and commute to PSU.

Like I said, I'm fully aware with the potential salary I could be getting after graduation, but its one of those things that I've accepted. I feel like its pretty similar to people who want to be teachers; the pay isn't what attracts people to be a teacher, it's their desire to teach. That's the way I feel with being an attorney. And the most prestigious thing I want to, I guess, is eventually start my own firm.

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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:27 am

ronanOgara wrote:Jchiles, yeah you are right about the Villanova deal, but Drexel was able to cover all the fees, books whereas Villanova was not. I really liked Dickinson and have met so many great alumni from there, but Drexel just seemed like a better fit and Dickinson wouldn't budge on the stips. My grandfather is covering my living costs so that negated the need to stay home and commute to PSU.

Like I said, I'm fully aware with the potential salary I could be getting after graduation, but its one of those things that I've accepted. I feel like its pretty similar to people who want to be teachers; the pay isn't what attracts people to be a teacher, it's their desire to teach. That's the way I feel with being an attorney. And the most prestigious thing I want to, I guess, is eventually start my own firm.


Good for you man, seriously. You sound like you have your head on a lot straighter than 90% of people who go to law school. Good luck.

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hephaestus
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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby hephaestus » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:28 am

goldbh7 wrote:OP, I don't think your decision is a bad idea. With your small law aspirations, would you be completely okay with a job that pays between $35k and $45k out of school?

Would you be ok with not ever being a lawyer if you can't find work?

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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby phillywc » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:45 am

Honestly since you have COL covered, that takes a large chunk out of your debt and makes Penn/NYU very worth it in my opinion. ~175k Debt at Penn>>0 Debt at Drexel.


I know stips and all that, but Nova and PSU are way better schools than Drexel.

I'm from Delco with T14ish numbers so I know what you are going through. I just think you'll regret it later in life when you are working 60 hours a week for 35k, or jobless when you could be doing BigLaw/Prestigious PI/In house. And if you want to do PI, the T14 have some solid LARP programs.

ETA: To be fair, if you are 100% about wanting small law and staying in the area, it is not a crazy decision. I disagree because you'll never know if you change your mind once exposed to opportunities but yeah
Last edited by phillywc on Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:46 am

ImNoScar wrote:
goldbh7 wrote:OP, I don't think your decision is a bad idea. With your small law aspirations, would you be completely okay with a job that pays between $35k and $45k out of school?

Would you be ok with not ever being a lawyer if you can't find work?


Likelihood of this happening is exaggerated. Not having a job immediately on graduation is possible, never finding work is unlikely. The people like this guy at my T2 found jobs regardless of grades -- small firms, ADA, etc. It may have taken them six or nine months, and the jobs didn't necessarily pay well, but they got jobs. He has a sense of purpose, which most people in law school lack. That's an advantage.

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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:50 am

phillywc wrote:Honestly since you have COL covered, that takes a large chunk out of your debt and makes Penn/NYU very worth it in my opinion. ~175k Debt at Penn>>0 Debt at Drexel.


I know stips and all that, but Nova and PSU are way better schools than Drexel.

I'm from Delco with T14ish numbers so I know what you are going through. I just think you'll regret it later in life when you are working 60 hours a week for 35k, or jobless when you could be doing BigLaw/Prestigious PI/In house. And if you want to do PI, the T14 have some solid LARP programs.


Sorry, but this is so clearly the post of a 0L with limited life experience. I don't think you get how much debt 175K really is, and I don't think you understand what biglaw is like, and I don't think you get that there are people who don't have the life-as-a-game mindset where attaining the highest level of prestige is the goal.

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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:52 am

I would have taken Penn (or NYU) for the flexibility and because an elite career in law appeals to me. I could never attend law school if it wasnt providin opportunity for more than I have with my BA.

For you with your goals and regional preferences it would be dangerous and ill advised to take on sticker debt. I think you made a justifiable choice

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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:53 am

fwiw, I stayed at a T2 debt free when I had the grades (top 5%) to transfer to a T6. It was a great decision. I did not want to do biglaw and I'm glad I didn't -- I do interesting work, I make enough money to have a decent life and I still get to see my family. I watch my friends suffering through biglaw, and the majority of them feel like "what is this all for, other than paying back my loans?" -- of course, I don't get to see those friends much.

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phillywc
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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby phillywc » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:54 am

blsingindisguise wrote:
phillywc wrote:Honestly since you have COL covered, that takes a large chunk out of your debt and makes Penn/NYU very worth it in my opinion. ~175k Debt at Penn>>0 Debt at Drexel.


I know stips and all that, but Nova and PSU are way better schools than Drexel.

I'm from Delco with T14ish numbers so I know what you are going through. I just think you'll regret it later in life when you are working 60 hours a week for 35k, or jobless when you could be doing BigLaw/Prestigious PI/In house. And if you want to do PI, the T14 have some solid LARP programs.


Sorry, but this is so clearly the post of a 0L with limited life experience. I don't think you get how much debt 175K really is, and I don't think you understand what biglaw is like, and I don't think you get that there are people who don't have the life-as-a-game mindset where attaining the highest level of prestige is the goal.

I edited my post to add that based just on what he said its a defensible choice. I'm just presenting another opinion because Drexel really locks you out of any sort of high paying work, let alone prestige. I think Drexel is going to be a solid law school in a few decades but its too new to have the alumni base. Temple at 2/3s off is 15k in debt for in state I believe which seems like a lot better deal than Drexel.

I'd still take Penn so Philly Big Law is at least an option. If you decide its not for you LARP kicks in.

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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby Geaux12 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:57 am

I like OP.


No debt will feel really, really good. And just because you start at $45k doesn't mean you'll be there forever -- you could do interesting work, be in a courtroom (if that's what you want), and most importantly work with people who don't suck/have lives. Hustle and you can make it. Dangerous, but so is BigLaw in a different way.

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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:58 am

Hmm, the LRAP factor is interesting, but I would be sure to read the details carefully and make sure it would really cover what he wants to do and what it gives him.

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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby phillywc » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:01 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:Hmm, the LRAP factor is interesting, but I would be sure to read the details carefully and make sure it would really cover what he wants to do and what it gives him.

Oh absolutely. I'd just saw it was something I'd look into carefully because if the LARP program would work with what he would like to do, the extra options of a T7 school suddenly become very appealing in case he ever decides he wants to do something else, ya know?

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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby Robespierre » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:08 pm

Am I the only one who thought this thread would be about the All-Star Game?

OP, I would go with Penn since (a) you're looking at ~170K debt rather than the really scary ~250K some people take on and (b) Drexel's employment stats just don't cut it ... only 46% currently getting ANY real legal job, even Small Law.

But no, your choice is not "insane." Zero debt at a local school with a decent rep, when you aspire to Small Law in the locality, is a defensible choice. Go with your gut.

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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby Geaux12 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:08 pm

Robespierre wrote:Am I the only one who thought this thread would be about the All-Star Game?

OP, I would go with Penn since (a) you're looking at ~170K debt rather than the really scary ~250K some people take on and (b) Drexel's employment stats just don't cut it ... only 46% currently getting ANY real legal job, even Small Law.

But no, your choice is not "insane." Zero debt at a local school with a decent rep, when you aspire to Small Law in the locality, is a defensible choice. Go with your gut.


$170k isn't scary? Exactly what world are you living in? Do you know what those monthly payments look like?

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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:17 pm

phillywc wrote:
blsingindisguise wrote:Hmm, the LRAP factor is interesting, but I would be sure to read the details carefully and make sure it would really cover what he wants to do and what it gives him.

Oh absolutely. I'd just saw it was something I'd look into carefully because if the LARP program would work with what he would like to do, the extra options of a T7 school suddenly become very appealing in case he ever decides he wants to do something else, ya know?


I think that's fair, but it's also important to understand what kind of "options" $175K in debt can take away. With biglaw (i.e. no LRAP), that would mean paying something like (EDIT: Sorry more like $2000 a month, my interest assumptions didn't make sense). LRAP can also lock you into things -- I know a guy who actually turned down a promotion in his govt job because of how much it would blow up his loan payment.
Last edited by blsingindisguise on Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:18 pm

Geaux12 wrote:$170k isn't scary? Exactly what world are you living in? Do you know what those monthly payments look like?



And this. This. Insanity. $200K is the new $100K? Even a few years ago that kind of debt was unheard of.

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jchiles
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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby jchiles » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:35 pm

I think it great LRAP exists, and obviously the programs vary from school to school, but I don’t like the idea of being locked into a specific career path (biglaw or PI/Gov) as the only feasible way to pay down debts. Almost all attorneys I know bounced around various positions including small and medium sized firms, government positions, and legal aid/nonprofit work and continue to do so. They all seem to enjoy following certain colleagues or pursuing options as they come up, but if they had to remain in LRAP-eligible positions they wouldn’t get to experience small firm work or have the option of opening their own shop.

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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:13 pm

Geaux12 wrote:
Robespierre wrote:Am I the only one who thought this thread would be about the All-Star Game?

OP, I would go with Penn since (a) you're looking at ~170K debt rather than the really scary ~250K some people take on and (b) Drexel's employment stats just don't cut it ... only 46% currently getting ANY real legal job, even Small Law.

But no, your choice is not "insane." Zero debt at a local school with a decent rep, when you aspire to Small Law in the locality, is a defensible choice. Go with your gut.


$170k isn't scary? Exactly what world are you living in? Do you know what those monthly payments look like?

He called 250K "really scary" in comparison to 170K, implying that 170K is still scary but not quite as bad. Not sure what you were reading.

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TheThriller
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Re: Mid-summer classic dilemma

Postby TheThriller » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:27 pm

NYU with their LRAP and PI placement may appeal to OP




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