How much are local connections worth?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

What is more important?

10% on LST
10
43%
Local ties
13
57%
 
Total votes: 23

tiltedwindmill
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby tiltedwindmill » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:02 pm

Retake for jerb prospects.

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Pablo
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby Pablo » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:25 pm

Wait op. What I dont understand is why you arent getting a bigger scholarship from either school. Especially at SU with your numbers. They are third tier and you have a top ten percentile lsat and very reasonable gpa. How much of that 120,000 is living costs?

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twenty
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby twenty » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:27 pm

Hey guys,

I have a thought -- we need to stop throwing around the "coin-flip chance" number because people (like OP) are having a difficult time figuring out the difference between "a coin-flip chance at biglaw" and "a coin-flip chance at a legal job."

For Seattle U, for example, we need to use a 7.7% chance of getting a decent job. That would be big firms and A3/state clerkships. We should exclude small firms because 1) the pay is shite, 2) there's basically no upward mobility, and 3) the VAST MAJORITY of these jobs are obtained through personal connections, not the school's placement power or "prestigious ties to the area." We should exclude government and PI unless an OP explicitly says, "I want to go to law school for the sole purpose of becoming a public defender/animal rights advocate/legal services worker/etc." No one's going to stumble onto a PI/govt job in this day and age.

So we need to start asking these people, is 30k-250k + all your lost income over three years worth a 7.7%* (SeattleU) chance of getting a decent job?

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twenty
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby twenty » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:30 pm

On the PAYE front, even if you're making 45k a year, you're still going to pay over 100k (over the course of 20 years) for the privilege of having a worthless certificate. Oh yeah, and dat tax bomb. Dumb idea.

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Domke
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby Domke » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:19 am

This is pointless. If you don't want to answer my question please stop posting.

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Domke
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby Domke » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:28 am

Bomnom wrote:Wait op. What I dont understand is why you arent getting a bigger scholarship from either school. Especially at SU with your numbers. They are third tier and you have a top ten percentile lsat and very reasonable gpa. How much of that 120,000 is living costs?


50% living cost. I could reduce the total to 90k by using my savings.

BigZuck
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby BigZuck » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:54 am

Retake. Going to a school like these and paying 120K to do so is an indefensibly bad decision. These schools should not be attended unless you end up with little to no debt (and, ideally, you have connections that will get you a job).

Not sure where you're getting the "no info about non-T14 schools" thing from. That certainly isn't based in reality. It is toplawschools.com so it shouldn't be surprising that people are mainly here to talk about top law schools but there are a number of non-T14s that are very well represented (for example there are way more WUSTL and UT bros than Stanford and Yale bros). As has already been said, regional schools are certainly endorsed if the price is right and the career goals are modest/attainable.

All of this is to say: check yourself before you wreck yourself. The advice you have been given is excellent and to the point. And by the point I mean helping you to attain your career goals while simultaneously not being absolutely crippled by debt.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby ManoftheHour » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:15 am

timbs4339 wrote:
Domke wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:People are not going to tell you to make objectively bad decisions. It's fine to go to a lower-ranked school and take a lower paying job, but it's not fine to take that job when your debt load is more than 2x the likely starting salary. Ever pay back 100K+ of student loans before? I seriously doubt that you want to be living like a college student well into your later 20s because the loan payments are $1500 a month.


You should look up PAYE.


Yep. Go to law school, take out 120K of debt, and wind up in a program for people in "financial hardship" (i.e. poor people) that could be taken away at any moment and leads to a massive tax bomb at the end of it, the effects of which may cause you to declare bankruptcy. Enjoy interest accruing at 9.5% a year for 20 years thanks to our wonderful variable rates.

Of course this is preferable to doing whatever you're doing now for a year and studying for an easily learnable test, because that's hard.


Because of the tax bomb, why would anyone go on PAYE? Serious question. Wouldn't you just want to declare bankruptcy earlier? Or is it because your loans (before PAYE) are non-dischargable as compared to the tax bomb (which I am assuming is)?

Also, OP: Have you tried negotiating your schollies? Your #s are pretty high for both schools. I'd imagine you'd get some serious cash.

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twenty
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby twenty » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:23 am

Thanks to IBR/PAYE, it is significantly harder to bankrupt out of federal student loans -- which were already almost impossible to bankrupt out of regardless.

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052220151
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby 052220151 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 am

Domke, I'm a PNW dude, who retook twice. My options are now insanely better than they would have been this time last year. I have substantial connections (attorneys at all stages of their careers and recent L&C and Seattle U grads) to the markets out here and I am well aware of the job out comes from both of these schools. 120k is too much for either one of these schools. Neither has a strong LRAP program, and unless you finish in the top 10 or 15 people in the class, you have virtually zero shot a job that will help you pay back that loan. Dude, I've been in your shoes, I sat out two more years than I originally planned on, and I am so thankful that I did. Don't be shortsighted.

Feel free to PM me

timbs4339
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:47 am

twenty wrote:Thanks to IBR/PAYE, it is significantly harder to bankrupt out of federal student loans -- which were already almost impossible to bankrupt out of regardless.


That's not a good thing.

The bankruptcy comes along with the massive tax bomb at the end. Good luck paying it back if you're still in partial financial hardship. Again it is a program for people in financial hardship. Read more about the program.

You're getting retake because it's the right advice. Or we're all just bitter losers who totally failed at life. Probably the latter. Protip, not a good idea to call opposing counsel "bitter" when they make arguments you don't like.

ManoftheHour wrote:Because of the tax bomb, why would anyone go on PAYE? Serious question. Wouldn't you just want to declare bankruptcy earlier? Or is it because your loans (before PAYE) are non-dischargable as compared to the tax bomb (which I am assuming is)?


They go because it is almost impossible to make 150K or 200K's worth (or more) of payments on a 45K smallaw salary, never mind do that and have a middle class life or take care of a family. That's something like $2000-2400 per month on the standard plan.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:37 am

Domke wrote:This is pointless. If you don't want to answer my question please stop posting.


I think when you have to deliberately withhold relevant information like the names of the schools to manipulate the advice you're going to get, you know deep down that this isn't a good idea.

Can you at least explain WHY you must go this year? Like why it wouldn't be better to just work some temp job and study? What's one year compared to your entire career?

Please understand no one is trying to attack you or be a dick. They're legitimately trying to help you avoid putting yourself in an awful position. I know it's frustrating and you'd prefer to just be done with the LSAT and defer all this job hunt bullshit for three years, but that's really shortsighted and self defeating.

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Domke
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby Domke » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:01 pm

So what would be the price point that makes either of these schools acceptable?

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guano
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby guano » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:04 pm

Domke wrote:So what would be the price point that makes either of these schools acceptable?

total debt < median income for grads
AND
total debt < mean income for grads

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Ramius
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby Ramius » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:07 pm

Domke wrote:So what would be the price point that makes either of these schools acceptable?


It varies from person to person, but I wouldn't even consider them without a full ride plus some decent connections that I was confident could get me a job.

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sublime
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby sublime » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:10 pm

..

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Domke
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby Domke » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:38 pm

sublime wrote:OP, if you were testing that 3-4 points higher, why not take the June test anyway then see where you sit. There is close to zero downside even if you do a few points better, you may be able to get more money or as a long shot get into Washington. If you do worse, it doesn't matter.

It makes sense to try in June then reevaluate. If you still go, you still go.


Thank you, that makes sense.

timbs4339
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:43 pm

1.25x debt: starting salary- so about 75K on the high end. I've seen the 1.5x number bandied about but never higher than that.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby ManoftheHour » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:45 pm

Domke wrote:
sublime wrote:OP, if you were testing that 3-4 points higher, why not take the June test anyway then see where you sit. There is close to zero downside even if you do a few points better, you may be able to get more money or as a long shot get into Washington. If you do worse, it doesn't matter.

It makes sense to try in June then reevaluate. If you still go, you still go.


Thank you, that makes sense.


I actually did that last cycle. I was set on going to Loyola at 96k or Notre Dame at sticker. I retook in June just for fun and then I withdrew from all schools to reapply. It's worth a shot dude. You've nothing to lose. If you score higher, negotiate the shit out of those schools.

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Domke
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby Domke » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:47 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:
Domke wrote:
sublime wrote:OP, if you were testing that 3-4 points higher, why not take the June test anyway then see where you sit. There is close to zero downside even if you do a few points better, you may be able to get more money or as a long shot get into Washington. If you do worse, it doesn't matter.

It makes sense to try in June then reevaluate. If you still go, you still go.


Thank you, that makes sense.


I actually did that last cycle. I was set on going to Loyola at 96k or Notre Dame at sticker. I retook in June just for fun and then I withdrew from all schools to reapply. It's worth a shot dude. You've nothing to lose. If you score higher, negotiate the shit out of those schools.


I haven't started negotiations yet but I'm guessing it won't rise by that much. I do have a full ride to Iowa to use as leverage but no plan on going there.

Isn't June to late to negotiate?

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guano
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby guano » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:53 pm

timbs4339 wrote:1.25x debt: starting salary- so about 75K on the high end. I've seen the 1.5x number bandied about but never higher than that.

that's nutterbutter. interest alone will exceed 10% of gross income (let alone take-home pay).

Rough estimate: $60k salary means takehome pay of $3,760 in Washington
$60k debt at 5.41% means $650 monthly payments which is 17.28% of monthly income
$75k debt at 5.41% means $810 monthly payments which is 21.54% of monthly income

You really want to pay more than 1/5th of your paycheck toward loan payments?

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sublime
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby sublime » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:56 pm

..

Paul Campos
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby Paul Campos » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:00 pm

Domke wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:
Domke wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:What advice did you expect, really?

Gun to my head, I guess go to L&C. It's not a great investment at that price, and climbing out of that debt will be so much worse than an LSAT retake, but whatever. You know what the rational, right answer is and seem determined to go a different route, so go nuts. At least it's not in a city with a much, much better law school it has to compete with.


I was hoping for actual advice, which is why I initially refrained from using the schools actual names.



I edited my post to seem less douchey, but I'd just like to point out that "Retake the LSAT for $$$" IS actual advice. It's GOOD advice.


It can be good advice. However I was not asking if I should retake. When I first got my score I did some research. 50% of the people who retake get the same score or lower. Of those that score higher, 75% of them increase by 1-2 points. I was PTing at 167-168 with a few outliers, if I did increase my score it probably wouldn't be by much. A score of 165 would be offset by a latter application so I decided not to retake. The problem was that I wasn't asking if I should retake or not.


LSAT repeater data for 2010-11

395 repeaters whose most recent LSAT score was a 164.

Average score on retake: 166.3

71.1% improved their score.

21% scored 170 or higher. (This is 21% of all 164 retakers, not 21% of the retakers who improved their score).

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ManoftheHour
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby ManoftheHour » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:03 pm

sublime wrote:Not if you have a higher LSAT score.

Because your new leverage becomes sitting out a cycle and going elsewhere with your new, awesome LSAT score.

Edit: I didn't retake the LSAT (was preparing to in Oct) but had withdrawn from everywhere and in like July my school made an offer that I accepted.


I remember that. WUSTL gave you a full ride, lol.

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sublime
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Re: How much are local connections worth?

Postby sublime » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:05 pm

..




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