ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

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twenty
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby twenty » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:34 pm

Nah, I stuck my nose where it didn't belong (i.e, this thread.) :P

That's also why I usually defer to worldtraveler on the PI thread when it gets down to the nitty-gritty.

Now, on topic:

Goal(s): PI, specifically regional small-time like DA/PD.
Regional Ties: New York City (i.e, none)
School(s): Kentucky, LSU, WVU, Alabama, UNC. Basically, any heavy-hitter regional without a lot of competition.
Financing: Sticker price for all, person takes out loans. Makes the IBR/PAYE payment and PSLFs the frack out in ten years.
Plan: Person says eff grades, guns for the school's regional DA/PD starting after 1L orientation week. Is thrilled to get the PD's office, because 45k/yr making 5k a year in PAYE payments >>>>> making 11.50 at Starbucks.

Thoughts?

rad lulz
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:08 pm

twenty wrote:Nah, I stuck my nose where it didn't belong (i.e, this thread.) :P

That's also why I usually defer to worldtraveler on the PI thread when it gets down to the nitty-gritty.

Now, on topic:

Goal(s): PI, specifically regional small-time like DA/PD.
Regional Ties: New York City (i.e, none)
School(s): Kentucky, LSU, WVU, Alabama, UNC. Basically, any heavy-hitter regional without a lot of competition.
Financing: Sticker price for all, person takes out loans. Makes the IBR/PAYE payment and PSLFs the frack out in ten years.
Plan: Person says eff grades, guns for the school's regional DA/PD starting after 1L orientation week. Is thrilled to get the PD's office, because 45k/yr making 5k a year in PAYE payments >>>>> making 11.50 at Starbucks.

Thoughts?


Some issues:

1) I'd maybe try to live in one of these places first. Alabama isn't for everyone especially if you're not from the south. And your making a commitment to maybe spend the rest of your life in a place

2) I think you're overly reliant on PAYE. it makes sense of you only want to do pi forever and ever but for I'd say the majority of people who do da pd it's a stopping point not a deatination. People leave for private practice. Then the benefits of PAYE become less clear.

3) Related to (2), DA/PD can have a soft ceiling. After 3-5 years the marginal experience benefits drop off real fast. Maybe you're ok w this, maybe you're not

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worldtraveler
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:29 pm

PAYE is a great thing but I think people are being overly reliant on it. 10 years of your life is a long, long time. You are really trapped in just the public sector because your loan balance will have grown so much while you're making tiny payments.

I'm on IBR with LRAP and my loans will be gone in 10 years or so. But wow it's still stressful whenever I get a loan statement and I always have a nagging thought that if I change careers or just get a dream job offer that is not PAYE eligible, I can't take it without serious financial consequences.

PAYE is more of a chain than an easy way out. My expensive degree is worth it for me because my field is ultra competitive, but if you just want basic PI at a DA or PD office or legal aid in a small city I really don't know if it's worth the stress.

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dresden doll
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby dresden doll » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:40 pm

worldtraveler wrote:PAYE is a great thing but I think people are being overly reliant on it. 10 years of your life is a long, long time. You are really trapped in just the public sector because your loan balance will have grown so much while you're making tiny payments.

I'm on IBR with LRAP and my loans will be gone in 10 years or so. But wow it's still stressful whenever I get a loan statement and I always have a nagging thought that if I change careers or just get a dream job offer that is not PAYE eligible, I can't take it without serious financial consequences.

PAYE is more of a chain than an easy way out. My expensive degree is worth it for me because my field is ultra competitive, but if you just want basic PI at a DA or PD office or legal aid in a small city I really don't know if it's worth the stress.


+1.

It's highly unlikely I'd have my job without my expensive degree but people should seriously ask themselves whether it's worth it.

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JCougar
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:27 am

Holy shit how did I not see this until now please count me in as a practicing attorney.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:35 am

Synch wrote:Fordham, half scholly


Cost of living of NYC really eats away at the value of that half scholly. Unless you're cool living in the part of Harlem that's still pretty bad and limiting your rent, don't go.

ETA: Fuck it, don't go no matter what. Fordham at a 50% discount is still pretty fucking expensive. The only way I'd go at that price is if I could live with my parents and pay $0 cost of living.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:46 am

rad lulz wrote:I'd take out maybe about $75k in loans for most state flagships including wake/unc


Solid advice. This is about where I stand. UNC is good. Low COL.

*I think COL is going to factor into every single one of my responses here. It's a big hidden cost that people don't consider enough. The difference between a low COL school and a high COL school can be as much as $10K/year, or $30K total. So going to something like UNC automatically gives you about a $30K debt advantage over schools in Boston, NYC, DC, SF, LA, etc.

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JCougar
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:54 am

Bedsole wrote:Other practitioners:
Thoughts on ND? I am on the fence between "only for free" and "greater than half is OK".


It's cheap to live in South Bend, but it's also boring as hell. The only entertainment is if you love ND football, and even then, it's only fall semester...otherwise it's strip malls and bowling alleys. Decent enough shot at Biglaw where half tuition plus COL could be doable...if you lower your expectations for a social life. Total debt should be $90K at most, but preferably $75K.

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JCougar
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:05 am

timbs4339 wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:Goal: PI gunner. PI or bust.
Region: SoCal, NorCal is okay too.
Connections: Born and raised.

Schools:
USC: 130k
UC Davis: 40k
Loyola: Free, but with shitty top 50% sTTTips.


Is this what it is going to cost you or the scholarship amounts? And what kind of PI?


Cost. Deputy DA. Sorry, forgot to mention that this is just hypothetical. I just want to weigh potential options. My COL will be covered for all three years regardless of where I attend. However, I can live at home if I attend a LA school. I received a half ride last year from Davis with a lower LSAT score (5 points lower). If it helps, I have a close relative that works at the DA's office that I want to work at (LA).


That's total debt? Davis seems like a good deal, if you work the connection to do internships during the summers and intern at a local DA/AG office during school.


Yeah, I'd pick Davis. USC with that much debt could really backfire. Also, I'm guessing Davis is much cheaper to live.

Obviously, don't go to Loyola with that kind of stip.

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JCougar
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:11 am

jk148706 wrote:
twenty wrote:Excellent idea. Some of the more common ones on TLS:

UVA ED (i.e, sticker) for biglaw.
Northwestern at sticker for biglaw.


I thought this thread was for non-t14s


It should be about T14s, because neither of those schools are remotely worth sticker. They're good schools, but at least try to work $15K/year scholarships out of them.

Remember, UVA's law school transparency score is highly skewed because about 15% of their class is "employed" in school-funded volunteer "jobs."

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:21 am

Winston1984 wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:Iowa for free with no ties? Thanks for doing this thread.


Do you really want to live in Iowa?


Not necessarily, but a full ride is tempting. I understand I would most likely be doing small law in Iowa post graduation. I just want to know if employers would just shut me out because of lack of ties to what I assume is a parochial market.


This is a legitimate thing to be concerned about.

Ties to a state like Iowa are a major thing when finding a job there. It depends on where you are from. If you're from the east/west coasts, forget it...firms will look at you and immediately think you're going to jet on back home after you get 1-2 years of experience. If you're from like North Dakota, Nebraska, etc., it might be easier to convince firms that you really want to stay in Iowa.

Iowa for free is still a good deal, but I would adjust your expectations and try and find a job in your HOME market...rather than in Iowa. Otherwise, use your full ride there to try and negotiate a scholarship out of a school closer to home.

The other thing is to do something drastic like buy a house in Iowa or marry/get engaged to a girl there.

Bottom line is that, in cities that are not "destination" cities, ties are possibly more important than school rank/grades. This is understated on TLS. Shitlaw barely cares about school/grades...and, quite frankly, you're less of a flight risk if you're a local boy/gal that went to the local TTT. They'll take the top 10% grad from Drake faster than they'd take the top 10% grad from Iowa if the Drake guy had ties.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:36 am

BlueLotus wrote:Temple for free (+ lives with parents) for someone who wants to work in Legal Aid/PD in southeastern PA


Totally legit.

Like I said in the other thread, the most important thing for PI isn't grades or school rank...it's getting involved with the field as soon as possible. Having previous PI work on your resume is the easiest way to get a future PI job. So your 1L summer should be volunteering somewhere PI related. Start networking near your school as soon as you start 1L. Don't wait until April.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:58 am

ArundelSt wrote:Vandy at 100K debt or a 10-14 at sticker or close to it. Ties to the South (FL, NC) and to NYC. Aiming Big Law (hopefully back to the south at some point)


Vandy.

Don't pay sticker at the bottom half of the T14. Just don't.

Because of your Southern ties, Duke/UVA could be justifiable at close to sticker, but I'd still take Vandy for $100K if that includes COL.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:03 am

wsparker wrote:Goal: biglaw or mid-level firm preferably in Atlanta, but am open to moving
Ties: Atlanta

Alabama COA: ~10k or less
OR
UGA COA: ~30K
OR
Chicago at sticker, but loans will be from family with NO interest (I know this thread isn't for T14, but I need to decide if Chicago is worth it)

THANKS!


This is one of the rare cases I'd tell someone to pay sticker. Enjoy Chicago.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:06 am

deadpanic wrote:Did you not get any money at Vandy, Duke, or UVA?

Those would be better options for your goals.


Yeah, this is actually better advice.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:11 am

anyriotgirl wrote:I haven't heard back from all my schools yet, but does anyone have an opinion on Cardozo for free (no stips) for labor and employment law in the NYC area?


The labor/employment law market sucks big time right now. L/E biglaw is moving heavily to lateral hiring, the government agencies are in hiring freezes (which may be lifted by the time you graduate, however), and the plaintiff-side wants work experience. So you'll have to find some place to volunteer for free for a year or two, most likely. With your goals, Cardozo is not even worth the COL expenses.

Plus, the parent university seems to be collapsing: http://forward.com/articles/190719/yu-d ... d-to-junk/

Their debt rating is junk-bond status.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby 03152016 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:15 am

JCougar going for thread MVP

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JCougar
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:18 am

prezidentv8 wrote:
StillCutty wrote:wondering if anyone has a compelling reason to take something like Texas debt free over ~175k debt at a T14.

Thank you


I can think of at least 175,000 reasons.


I'd choose Texas here without even thinking about it.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby cron1834 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:33 am

JCougar wrote:
ArundelSt wrote:Vandy at 100K debt or a 10-14 at sticker or close to it. Ties to the South (FL, NC) and to NYC. Aiming Big Law (hopefully back to the south at some point)


Vandy.

Don't pay sticker at the bottom half of the T14. Just don't.

Because of your Southern ties, Duke/UVA could be justifiable at close to sticker, but I'd still take Vandy for $100K if that includes COL.


JC, what level of scholarship would you need to extract in order to justify a lower-half T14, if sticker is too high? Well, excluding GULC, obvs.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:35 am

John Everyman wrote:sad, that one seemed pretty sexy.


Minnesota punches way below its ranking when it comes to Biglaw placement. It's fine if you want to practice Shitlaw in MN/WI, but $90K is on the steep side. It's not terrible, but going to Wisconsin for less $$$ is a much better idea, since for Shitlaw purposes, UM and UW are pretty much equal. A good price for Minnesota would be about $60K, but you should just be patient and wait out a scholly offer from WI to see if you can go for free.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:55 am

cron1834 wrote:JC, what level of scholarship would you need to extract in order to justify a lower-half T14, if sticker is too high? Well, excluding GULC, obvs.


Again, that depends on your goals/finances/where you want to live/COL.

GULC isn't bad just because it places worse than the other T14s...it's bad because COL in DC is outrageous. All scholarships are not created equal if you have to spend $45K more over the course of 3 years just to pay rent and eat. I was able to live off of $10K/year COL loans, but I 1) grew up fairly poor for most of my childhood, and therefore living cheaply isn't foreign to me, and 2) went to school in a very low COL city. But a lot of people spend up to $75K on COL alone.

I generally think total debt for a bottom half T14 should be not too far from $100K. So at worst, you should look for about a $15K/year scholarship in a low COL area, or a $25K/year scholarship in a high COL area. But I have a lower opinion of Biglaw than most. 75% of the people I know that went into it either hate(ed) it or didn't last very long in it--but they're forced into it because of their debt. I think keeping your debt around $90K from anywhere other than HYS (where you can get a PI job of your choosing and therefore take advantage of 10-year IBR) is optimal. And yes, good PI jobs are either a) harder to get than biglaw, or 2) don't care much about your school/rank. Try getting a position at the Southern Poverty Law Center or ACLU from a school outside of the T5. It's hard.

0Ls have no idea what Biglaw is really like. It looks prestigious from the outside in, but in practice, it's mostly monkey work, unpredictable hours, and half the partners you deal with are completely antisocial dicks. Also, the more prestigious Biglaw firms are up and out pyramid schemes, and churn through associates like Taylor Swift churns through boyfriends. Each firm and department can be different, though, so some who hook up with good people really do seem to like it despite the hours. YMMV, I guess. It can be very rewarding, but for most, Biglaw is simply a struggle to pay off the debt you took out simply so you could get Biglaw--and then you either quit or get fired. So counting on Biglaw to pay off debt that can only be paid off with Biglaw is a more complex decision than people on here treat it.

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JCougar
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:10 am

Bedsole wrote:
RobertGolddust wrote:
And if you miss biglaw you're more likely to start at $45-50K?


I thought lawyers working in private firms made around 70k with bonuses? Why would anyone go to law school to make 50k, that seems pretty ridiculous. To be honest, I wouldn't want to practice law for that pay.


http://www.nalp.org/salarydistrib


And that only counts the people with full-time jobs. Which we know is very optimistically only 50% of all people who graduate.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby cron1834 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:12 am

Thanks for your insight. I'm deciding b/t negotiating for the best scholly possible from a T13 (including a June retake) and simply holding off unless/until I get a score for H.

Appreciate your perspective.

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JCougar
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:18 am

rad lulz wrote:
fatheranderson15 wrote:So where would you guys put UCLA/USC? Reasonable alternative at 50%, or only good for free/near free?

More

You need almost a full tuition scholarship if you're takin out debt for CoL


Yeah, unless you can get creative with COL (i.e. can live for free with a relative/SO, or don't mind living in the ghetto), I'd be wary of attending either of these places without a 75% scholly.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby blink » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:29 am

JC, while you're at it, mind tossing your opinions my way? I posted on the last page. Thanks for this thread all.




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