ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
User avatar
BaiAilian2013
Posts: 919
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:05 pm

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

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:21 am

You can also mass mail Denver firms, playing up the three years as ties. They're not the best ties, but you can make a good cover letter out of three years. I got into a ties-sensitive market on less. If you get into NYU, I'd go there, otherwise maybe Michigan?

hukchobo
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:47 am

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

Postby hukchobo » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:31 am

Bikeflip wrote:
hukchobo wrote:
Bikeflip wrote:
hukchobo wrote:PLEASE do not say RETAKE.



Okay. Don't go. If you have 4 yrs of COL saved up, that's $80k, assuming $20k/yr in living expenses. There's a decent chance that you'll come out of these schools making $50k, which is about what you're making now. Only now you've burned through $60k in savings and have $50k in debt.



Thanks for the quick reply. One follow up question then. What about future income? I'm dead serious when I say I have no future at my current place/industry. Would you still recommend me not to go? Don't know if this is relevant ITE but I honestly do want to become a lawyer.


I considered your future income, and I'm still hesitant to say you should go. The reason why is you're giving up a sure thing for a gamble that you're paying $110,000-$130,000 once you factor in the debt and your savings. You could get big law, or you could get doc review. Most likely, you're coming out and the exact same amount of money, but you just spent 3 yrs of your life to do so.

What's the exact amount of tuition you'd be paying at each school?


UGA = 13k/yr
UIUC = 15k/yr
This is last year's tuition and assuming no tuition increases. I'll be negotiating hard for more but no guarantees. Every other school would cost more than 20k/yr.

User avatar
Beercules
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:44 am

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

Postby Beercules » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:38 am

Goals: BigLaw litigation in a big city (i.e. NYC, LA, DC). Endgame goal is plaintiff side firm.

Options:

Cardozo @ free
Fordham @ 75k COA
USC @ 70k COA
Vandy @ 80k COA

Let er rip.

User avatar
Bikeflip
Posts: 1833
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:01 pm

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

Postby Bikeflip » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:03 pm

killer133 wrote:Do I pretty much have to go to NYC and then lateral after 2-3 yrs?


Denver's lateral market is semi active. This may be your best play. Even then, no guarantees.

hukchobo wrote:
Bikeflip wrote:I considered your future income, and I'm still hesitant to say you should go. The reason why is you're giving up a sure thing for a gamble that you're paying $110,000-$130,000 once you factor in the debt and your savings. You could get big law, or you could get doc review. Most likely, you're coming out and the exact same amount of money, but you just spent 3 yrs of your life to do so.

What's the exact amount of tuition you'd be paying at each school?


UGA = 13k/yr
UIUC = 15k/yr
This is last year's tuition and assuming no tuition increases. I'll be negotiating hard for more but no guarantees. Every other school would cost more than 20k/yr.


So you're closer to paying $110-$115,000 after you factor in using your savings on COL and debt financing tuition. Still seems steep for someone who is debt averse.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

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

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:06 pm

Beercules wrote:Goals: BigLaw litigation in a big city (i.e. NYC, LA, DC). Endgame goal is plaintiff side firm.

Options:

Cardozo @ free
Fordham @ 75k COA
USC @ 70k COA
Vandy @ 80k COA

Let er rip.


That's about as much as I'd pay for Fordham. Are you sure you can negotiate a bigger award from them, using Vandy and USC as leverage?

It's a tough decision because you're still looking at less than a coinflip's shot, and once you're off the biglaw boat it's hard to get back on. What are your numbers?

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

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

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:29 pm

Beercules wrote:Goals: BigLaw litigation in a big city (i.e. NYC, LA, DC). Endgame goal is plaintiff side firm.

Options:

Cardozo @ free
Fordham @ 75k COA
USC @ 70k COA
Vandy @ 80k COA

Let er rip.


Nope.

If the goal absolutely must include biglaw for some reason (maybe trying to get into a particular type of plaintiff's work?), none of those seem like particularly attractive choices given the debt/biglaw odds. If biglaw isn't necessary, why are you not trying for lower-prestige/bigger-scholarship/more-local type schools?

If you have an idea of where you want to be, geographically, that would be helpful too.

Try again next cycle for a big (read:full or nearly full) scholarship either (a) at one of the higher ranked schools (read: T14 or similar, e.g., USC/UCLA/Vandy/Texas/etc) or (b) at a well-reputed local school near where you want to practice. Try to do some work near wherever it is you're trying to practice while in school/during summers too. That will keep your debt down and give you a good shot to actually do the work you want, without making biglaw a financial necessity.

You could also use the extra cycle to retake, as well, which may or may not be an attractive option, but whatever.

TLDR: I don't like your options. Get a bigger scholarship at a better school or go local, keep your debt down, and don't make biglaw a necessity if you don't have to.

User avatar
Beercules
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:44 am

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

Postby Beercules » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:43 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:
Beercules wrote:Goals: BigLaw litigation in a big city (i.e. NYC, LA, DC). Endgame goal is plaintiff side firm.

Options:

Cardozo @ free
Fordham @ 75k COA
USC @ 70k COA
Vandy @ 80k COA

Let er rip.


Nope.

If the goal absolutely must include biglaw for some reason (maybe trying to get into a particular type of plaintiff's work?), none of those seem like particularly attractive choices given the debt/biglaw odds. If biglaw isn't necessary, why are you not trying for lower-prestige/bigger-scholarship/more-local type schools?

If you have an idea of where you want to be, geographically, that would be helpful too.

Try again next cycle for a big (read:full or nearly full) scholarship either (a) at one of the higher ranked schools (read: T14 or similar, e.g., USC/UCLA/Vandy/Texas/etc) or (b) at a well-reputed local school near where you want to practice. Try to do some work near wherever it is you're trying to practice while in school/during summers too. That will keep your debt down and give you a good shot to actually do the work you want, without making biglaw a financial necessity.

You could also use the extra cycle to retake, as well, which may or may not be an attractive option, but whatever.

TLDR: I don't like your options. Get a bigger scholarship at a better school or go local, keep your debt down, and don't make biglaw a necessity if you don't have to.


BigLaw is the goal, not the be all end all.

Retake not an option, all takes used. 167/3.6X. Riding t14 waitlists at the moment.

No preference on geography.

Why would I sit out a cycle?

I should clarify that those numbers are the total COA for all 3 years, not one. I have (fairly substantial) scholarships at all places, parents covering living expenses/some other costs.

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

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

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:24 pm

Beercules wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:
Beercules wrote:Goals: BigLaw litigation in a big city (i.e. NYC, LA, DC). Endgame goal is plaintiff side firm.

Options:

Cardozo @ free
Fordham @ 75k COA
USC @ 70k COA
Vandy @ 80k COA

Let er rip.


Nope.

If the goal absolutely must include biglaw for some reason (maybe trying to get into a particular type of plaintiff's work?), none of those seem like particularly attractive choices given the debt/biglaw odds. If biglaw isn't necessary, why are you not trying for lower-prestige/bigger-scholarship/more-local type schools?

If you have an idea of where you want to be, geographically, that would be helpful too.

Try again next cycle for a big (read:full or nearly full) scholarship either (a) at one of the higher ranked schools (read: T14 or similar, e.g., USC/UCLA/Vandy/Texas/etc) or (b) at a well-reputed local school near where you want to practice. Try to do some work near wherever it is you're trying to practice while in school/during summers too. That will keep your debt down and give you a good shot to actually do the work you want, without making biglaw a financial necessity.

You could also use the extra cycle to retake, as well, which may or may not be an attractive option, but whatever.

TLDR: I don't like your options. Get a bigger scholarship at a better school or go local, keep your debt down, and don't make biglaw a necessity if you don't have to.


BigLaw is the goal, not the be all end all.

Retake not an option, all takes used. 167/3.6X. Riding t14 waitlists at the moment.

No preference on geography.

Why would I sit out a cycle?

I should clarify that those numbers are the total COA for all 3 years, not one. I have (fairly substantial) scholarships at all places, parents covering living expenses/some other costs.



You may have a greater risk tolerance than I do, but I just don't see any of those options being good bets for biglaw at the stated costs (and certainly too expensive if you don't end up in biglaw). That's why I'd say to pass on it for this cycle and try again next time. A bit surprised you didn't get a better offer with those numbers though, although I suppose I'm not really in touch with the admissions process anymore.

What kind of practice are you trying to end up in, say, five years out (if you know)?

User avatar
deadpanic
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:09 pm

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

Postby deadpanic » Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:01 pm

Assuming you are including the COL, I think USC or Vandy at 70/80k is very reasonable. I would probably take USC since it is in a big city with a decent amount of big law jobs. Unless you have some preference for the East Coast then I would go with Vandy.

Wouldn't bank on big law, but at that cost, I think those two are both worth it.

I would rule out Cardozo & Fordham.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 9635
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

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

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:43 pm

USC at that cost seems like a great setup to me. You'll have to fight your way into biglaw, but it's as good a shot as you'll get outside the T14. My concern would be if you have never lived or worked in CA before. It's an extremely southern california-focused network (as you might expect).

User avatar
NotASpecialSnowflake
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:15 pm

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

Postby NotASpecialSnowflake » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:21 pm

My goals: big law, but I don't have it planned out as much as I'd like to

Gpa: 3.91 lsat: 167

My ties: nothing special

Opportunity cost: coming straight out of UG with a humanities major

My current options (depending on waitlists, which isn't likely anyways) are:

UCLA with 100k+ debt- probably out, not really considering it

Texas with 50k total debt plus COL - interesting but I don't have ties and never lived in Tex before

ED UVA to try to get off the waitlist

Take a year or two off and retake - this is where I'm leaning

I know there is a t-14 in there (two if you count Texas), but I was hoping I could still get some advice

Thanks!
Last edited by NotASpecialSnowflake on Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
patogordo
Posts: 4827
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:33 am

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

Postby patogordo » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:25 pm

50k + COL is still a lot of debt. retake for sure.

User avatar
cron1834
Posts: 1920
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:36 am

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

Postby cron1834 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:27 pm

jbagelboy wrote:USC at that cost seems like a great setup to me. You'll have to fight your way into biglaw, but it's as good a shot as you'll get outside the T14. My concern would be if you have never lived or worked in CA before. It's an extremely southern california-focused network (as you might expect).


I'm considering USC at about that cost, and I'm concerned with exactly the issue you raise. My sibling lives in SoCal, and my folks are contemplating retiring there in a few years, which is why CA is on my radar. Does this seem sufficient to constitute "ties" or is not having anything CA on the resume prior to law school a death blow? The reputation I've gleaned from TLS seems to be that LA in particular is easier without ties than elsewhere, though nothing like NYC.

User avatar
patogordo
Posts: 4827
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:33 am

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

Postby patogordo » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:33 pm

cron1834 wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:USC at that cost seems like a great setup to me. You'll have to fight your way into biglaw, but it's as good a shot as you'll get outside the T14. My concern would be if you have never lived or worked in CA before. It's an extremely southern california-focused network (as you might expect).


I'm considering USC at about that cost, and I'm concerned with exactly the issue you raise. My sibling lives in SoCal, and my folks are contemplating retiring there in a few years, which is why CA is on my radar. Does this seem sufficient to constitute "ties" or is not having anything CA on the resume prior to law school a death blow? The reputation I've gleaned from TLS seems to be that LA in particular is easier without ties than elsewhere, though nothing like NYC.

LA firms i interviewed with were mostly unconcerned about ties, and i have no west coast family ties and went to an east coast school. they all asked "why CA?" but didn't seem too concerned about having hard ties. i think you'd have even less of a problem coming from USC.

the bigger problem is if you decide you don't want to work in CA.

User avatar
cron1834
Posts: 1920
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:36 am

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

Postby cron1834 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:50 pm

patogordo wrote:
cron1834 wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:USC at that cost seems like a great setup to me. You'll have to fight your way into biglaw, but it's as good a shot as you'll get outside the T14. My concern would be if you have never lived or worked in CA before. It's an extremely southern california-focused network (as you might expect).


I'm considering USC at about that cost, and I'm concerned with exactly the issue you raise. My sibling lives in SoCal, and my folks are contemplating retiring there in a few years, which is why CA is on my radar. Does this seem sufficient to constitute "ties" or is not having anything CA on the resume prior to law school a death blow? The reputation I've gleaned from TLS seems to be that LA in particular is easier without ties than elsewhere, though nothing like NYC.

LA firms i interviewed with were mostly unconcerned about ties, and i have no west coast family ties and went to an east coast school. they all asked "why CA?" but didn't seem too concerned about having hard ties. i think you'd have even less of a problem coming from USC.

the bigger problem is if you decide you don't want to work in CA.


Thanks for the insight, duder, appreciated.

User avatar
toshiroh
Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:58 pm

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

Postby toshiroh » Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:13 pm

I'm from ATL. Cost of living is not enough to accrue 75k + debt. That is way way way too high

The Dark Shepard
Posts: 450
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:49 pm

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

Postby The Dark Shepard » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:15 pm

UMN 25k year(probably can get more), family ties in Minnesota. Will probably have some financial help(for COL not tuition) from family. Government/PI goals.

User avatar
worldtraveler
Posts: 7665
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

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

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:32 pm

The Dark Shepard wrote:UMN 25k year(probably can get more), family ties in Minnesota. Will probably have some financial help(for COL not tuition) from family. Government/PI goals.


Oh god no.

The Dark Shepard
Posts: 450
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:49 pm

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

Postby The Dark Shepard » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:38 pm

Can I have reasons instead of "Oh god no". Thanks.

Nomo
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:06 am

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

Postby Nomo » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:32 pm

The Dark Shepard wrote:Can I have reasons instead of "Oh god no". Thanks.


You're looking at paying 6 figures for a school where 1 out of every 5 graduates doesn't get a full-time legal job. You'll have a better chance of being undermployed than you will of getting a large firm or federal clerkship job.

User avatar
worldtraveler
Posts: 7665
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

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

Postby worldtraveler » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:40 pm

The Dark Shepard wrote:Can I have reasons instead of "Oh god no". Thanks.


Look at how tough gov/PI hiring is combined with the current uncertainty over PSLF and IBR. Add that to tough job prospects for UMN grads of any kind.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

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

Postby JCougar » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:51 pm

Honestly, these days, shooting for good PI/FedGov jobs is more difficult than getting Biglaw, and it doesn't pay as much. Attending UMN while taking out six figures of debt is extremely risky. Budgets are in bad shape, and if Republicans continue to control the House, agency budgets and legal aid are going to remain on the chopping block every time there's a new fiscal year. We've seen some relief this year, as Republicans were forced to compromise after they over-played their hand with the government shutdown in October. But that could change if the Republicans take the Senate this fall and increase their margin in the House.

I don't mean to bring politics into this, but the reality is that funding for FedGov jobs and other legal aid funded by the Legal Services Corporation have become political footballs. It's hard to predict which way the wind will be blowing by the time any law school student entering school this fall graduates in 2017.

User avatar
ExBiglawAssociate
Posts: 2087
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:06 pm

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

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:39 pm

Nomo wrote:
The Dark Shepard wrote:Can I have reasons instead of "Oh god no". Thanks.


You're looking at paying 6 figures for a school where 1 out of every 5 graduates doesn't get a full-time legal job. You'll have a better chance of being undermployed than you will of getting a large firm or federal clerkship job.


You know it's bad when the general population has a lower chance of being unemployed than you do after three years of legal "education." Plus, you're saddled with student loans and lose three years of your life doing something incredibly stressful--three years you could have spent building a business or, oh I dunno, sitting on your ass all day (which would leave you in a better spot than a sizable chunk of UM's graduating class).

User avatar
anna8506
Posts: 226
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:47 pm

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

Postby anna8506 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:51 pm

So how would you guys put UMN in the original post, as Might be worth it for free/near free or no go under any condition?
Thanks

johannalee
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:49 am

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

Postby johannalee » Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:25 pm

Goals: Some type of civil/human rights law. Not particularly interested in making big money, just want to support myself and a family
Accepted with full tuition to IU-B and Ted I wi receive full tuition to Denver, but I have not officially been given it yet
Have not heard back from Boulder yet but hoping for full tuition with bargaining
Also received $15,000 and in state tuition to UT-Austin
My parents would help me financially through law school but probably not so far as to pay $45,000 for Austin for the three years

Would love to live in Colorado, would be fine with Bloomington, but not so thrilled about Indiana as a whole. Also I like Austin, but wouldn't want to stay in Texas

Advice?




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Socratease, zeglo and 2 guests