ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

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apb10
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby apb10 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:02 pm

I have full rides to each of the following:

Wake Forest (first choice)
Arizona State University
Indiana Bloomington

Cost: I would graduate without loans or debt. Family will take care of cost of living while in school.

Goals: To work in midlaw or around it (alternatively government/policy/lobbyist). Would like some mobility if possible (Wake Forest is said to be slightly mobile with alumni)

Other info: No significant ties to any of the areas

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

Postby Nomo » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:15 pm

apb10 wrote:I have full rides to each of the following:

Wake Forest (first choice)
Arizona State University
Indiana Bloomington

Cost: I would graduate without loans or debt. Family will take care of cost of living while in school.

Goals: To work in midlaw or around it (alternatively government/policy/lobbyist). Would like some mobility if possible (Wake Forest is said to be slightly mobile with alumni)

Other info: No significant ties to any of the areas


You could get midlaw or government work from any of these. Policy/lobbying work straight out of school might be difficult. You could also be unemployed (check the LST reports). But, at least you're not borrowing money.

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

Postby rpupkin » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:16 pm

apb10 wrote:Goals: To work in midlaw or around it (alternatively government/policy/lobbyist). Would like some mobility if possible (Wake Forest is said to be slightly mobile with alumni)

I doubt that Wake Forest will offer you more mobility than your other two options. If you are going to go to one of these law schools, you should pick the one in the area where you would prefer to live and work.

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

Postby Nomo » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:23 pm

cotterpyke wrote:Goal: to work in litigation when I graduate. Ideally in biglaw or prosecution, but I would be okay with working at a smaller law firm or a government agency. Prefer to be in NY over DC, though I will take the best job I can find.

Ties: No legal or school ties in either city.

Schools: Half-tuition scholarship at Fordham, 10k at GW. Waitlisted at lower-T14. Scholarship at GW may be increased.

Other info: Paying for school with combination of scholarships/family. Took lsat twice, highest score (165) was around my average pt so I feel comfortable that I maxed out.

My plan is to ride the waitlist, but if I don't get in, I will consider the scholarship situation and updated employment data. Any thoughts?


I would argue against all these options if you had to pay yourself. Since your family is paying its really just a question of how rich they are . . . how bad you feel about potentially wasting a ton of their money.

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

Postby Nomo » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:27 pm

jjleague wrote:I have read some of the other Oregon centric comments so I thought I would throw my choices.

Goal(s): Post school are return to the Coast Guard as a Judge Advocate, not really a goal more a requirement since they will be paying me and for my school. I will be an active duty O-3 the entire time with full pay and allotments. My long term goals once I retire from the service is to return to Oregon and work for a practice,teach at law school or open a private practice.
Regional Ties: Friends who run a medical practice no legal ties, yet. No school ties.
School(s): Willamette, free with CG and scholly and 2.9 stip
Oregon, maybe free with CG, scholly (no stip) and fellowship, if no fellowship then 4500/year which I will cash flow
Seattle, 8k/yr out of pocket which we would cash flow.

Other pertinent information: No COA or other debt, wife will get a job once move back stateside.


Oregon. Avoid that 2.9 stip. You've actually got decent options at decent prices considering that you'll have non-competitive eligibility for Fed jobs when you graduate, which could be very helpful.

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

Postby buffalo_ » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:56 pm

Goal: BigLaw/Clerkship initially, PI/Govt/Academia down the road

Ties: Grew up in Tri-State area, still have family there. Too far to commute to NYC

Schools: Columbia - sticker+COL (~260K before interest)
NYU - sticker+COL (~250K before interest)
Cardozo - Named Scholarship. COL only (I would only take out Stafford loans to cover this so ~$60k before interest)

Other info: Minimal undergraduate debt (<5k remaining) Will be 100% debt financed. No ability to receive parental aid, not enough savings to make a dent.

Thanks all.

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

Postby Nomo » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:09 pm

buffalo_ wrote:Goal: BigLaw/Clerkship initially, PI/Govt/Academia down the road

Ties: Grew up in Tri-State area, still have family there. Too far to commute to NYC

Schools: Columbia - sticker+COL (~260K before interest)
NYU - sticker+COL (~250K before interest)
Cardozo - Named Scholarship. COL only (I would only take out Stafford loans to cover this so ~$60k before interest)

Other info: Minimal undergraduate debt (<5k remaining) Will be 100% debt financed. No ability to receive parental aid, not enough savings to make a dent.

Thanks all.


You'll probably get biglaw at Columbia or NYU, but some people don't. And that would be a disaster (especially if IBR/PSLF get gutted). If you get biglaw that's a lot of debt (remember the interest will not only accrue during school, but also while you wait to start that firm job). Just paying taxes (state and federal) plus the interest on your loans is going to eat up most of your salary. If you can last 5 or 6 years in biglaw and you can live significantly cheaper than your colleagues you'll get the debt paid off - but you'll be back to square one. If you burn out after 3 years you're going to have those loans for a really long time. (Also, did you consider tuition increases - probably around 4% per year)

At the same time, Cardozo's job numbers aren't very good. Do you have any options in the middle?

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

Postby buffalo_ » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:16 pm

Nomo wrote:
buffalo_ wrote:Goal: BigLaw/Clerkship initially, PI/Govt/Academia down the road

Ties: Grew up in Tri-State area, still have family there. Too far to commute to NYC

Schools: Columbia - sticker+COL (~260K before interest)
NYU - sticker+COL (~250K before interest)
Cardozo - Named Scholarship. COL only (I would only take out Stafford loans to cover this so ~$60k before interest)

Other info: Minimal undergraduate debt (<5k remaining) Will be 100% debt financed. No ability to receive parental aid, not enough savings to make a dent.

Thanks all.


You'll probably get biglaw at Columbia or NYU, but some people don't. And that would be a disaster (especially if IBR/PSLF get gutted). If you get biglaw that's a lot of debt (remember the interest will not only accrue during school, but also while you wait to start that firm job). Just paying taxes (state and federal) plus the interest on your loans is going to eat up most of your salary. If you can last 5 or 6 years in biglaw and you can live significantly cheaper than your colleagues you'll get the debt paid off - but you'll be back to square one. If you burn out after 3 years you're going to have those loans for a really long time. (Also, did you consider tuition increases - probably around 4% per year)

At the same time, Cardozo's job numbers aren't very good. Do you have any options in the middle?


Unfortunately I do not. I have been accepted to schools with ranks inbetween, but I have not received aid offers from them. I seem to be allergic to scholarships at T50 schools, but they want to take a chance on me (or take my money). The only thin that might qualify would be W&M with about 20k in aid per year, but I don't think that is as competitive as the other options I have in front of me. What are the odds that IBR and PSLF get totally gutted? I think this is unlikely. It may be reformed, but I doubt it would be gutted. But I understand it is still basically a huge risk to go to NYU/CLS/Duke (also accepted but no aid offer yet) and not finish in the top 50%.

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

Postby Nomo » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:40 pm

buffalo_ wrote: Unfortunately I do not. I have been accepted to schools with ranks inbetween, but I have not received aid offers from them. I seem to be allergic to scholarships at T50 schools, but they want to take a chance on me (or take my money). The only thin that might qualify would be W&M with about 20k in aid per year, but I don't think that is as competitive as the other options I have in front of me. What are the odds that IBR and PSLF get totally gutted? I think this is unlikely. It may be reformed, but I doubt it would be gutted. But I understand it is still basically a huge risk to go to NYU/CLS/Duke (also accepted but no aid offer yet) and not finish in the top 50%.


I think a cap on forgiveness is very likely (who is going to oppose it if not Obama?). The only question is who it will apply to. If it happens before you enter repayment it may well apply to you. Or it may apply only the loans you took out after the changes go through (which would likely be most of your loans).

I think you should contact other schools; tell them you're options and see if they'll put some $ out there. Its hard to fathom that as good as the jobs outcomes are for Columbia grads, the sticker price might not be worth it . . . but it appears to be where we are. 56k tuition is just absurd; and even if they only raise it 2k per year (a lower rate than what they've been doing) you're looking at 58 as a 1L, 60 as a 2L, and 62 as a 3L. Unbelievable . . .

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

Postby cberg » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:41 pm

Goal(s): PI (education-related), policy(?)

Regional Ties:
-Tri-State area, possibly DC (Rutgers NB grad/Eagleton Institute participant; strong ties in Trenton)
-Houston (TFA/Houston ISD)

School(s): (These are est. COA over 3 years including a gross over-estimation of living expenses)
-W&M: $86,000
-Rutgers (Newark or Camden-- same deal @ both): $36,250
-Seton Hall: $60,535
-University of Houston: $64,678

Other pertinent information:
-Not a K-JD: 3 years of Teach for America (Teaching in a Title I public school)
-No undergrad debt

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twenty 8
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby twenty 8 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:17 am

I started to comment a few days ago but decided against it because it would have been hypocritical to offer advice that was the exact opposite of what I choose…turning down near sticker at a T13 for a free ride at a school ranked outside the top 100 (prior to this latest USNWR release). End result was only one big firm callback. The twist, that one interview worked out and unlike the other associates here, I have Zero debt (free ride, 14 week SA and RA income). So how could I recommend to anyone a costly route?

I saw a thread where several others also cashed in their LSAT/GPA stats for a free ride. They also ended up at a large firm with no debt….so it happens more often than one might imagine. More than anything, keep in mind what you already know, LS is a crap shoot. Whatever your plan, its only good if it works.

(I know associates realize this, but for applicants, you need to understand that when you go house hunting the first thing the realtor asks concerns your tuition debt. Say Zero and she’ll drive you over to a nice place with a pool.)

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

Postby deadpanic » Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:10 am

cberg wrote:Goal(s): PI (education-related), policy(?)

Regional Ties:
-Tri-State area, possibly DC (Rutgers NB grad/Eagleton Institute participant; strong ties in Trenton)
-Houston (TFA/Houston ISD)

School(s): (These are est. COA over 3 years including a gross over-estimation of living expenses)
-W&M: $86,000
-Rutgers (Newark or Camden-- same deal @ both): $36,250
-Seton Hall: $60,535
-University of Houston: $64,678

Other pertinent information:
-Not a K-JD: 3 years of Teach for America (Teaching in a Title I public school)
-No undergrad debt


Rutgers at that price seems pretty reasonable to me. I'm not quite sure exactly what PI would be education related and any paid policy jobs are going to be kind of scarce, but if you want PI like PD/DA, with your ties and costs, Rutgers makes sense.

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

Postby littlejane » Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:46 pm

been lurking for a while, and by a while, i mean on thursday when my friend introduced me to tls. i've been talking irl with attorney friends but thought this should be an interesting resource.

Goals: PI - PD, DA, legal aid, gov't
Regional Ties:
  • DC: UG, post-UG
  • NYC: born, raised, returned
Schools (cost of attendance minus scholarship over 3 years):
  • CUNY: $65,235 (no scholly; fin aid pending; living @ home)
  • St. John's: $26,121 (full-tuition w/ stip; living @ home)
  • Seton Hall: $137,988 (partial-tuition w/ stip; living off-campus)
  • Temple: $94,170 (partial-tuition w/ stip)
  • W&M: pending
Other Info: < $7k UG debt; non-traditional, 30+ yrs old; applying for add'l scholly @ temple

i'm interested in hearing thoughts on st. john's, what with its being banned and all itt. i'm hoping i can get the stipulation changed to just good academic standing, making st. john's the no-brainer.

Zeeguy91
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Zeeguy91 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:26 pm

Haven't heard from all of my schools yet, but here's where I'm at right now:

Goals: Either to end up in Big Law (?), entertainment, or immigration law. Also considering using a law degree to further my opportunities in another career, such as public policy. Would ultimately want to end up in L.A. or San Francisco, but would also live in NYC.

Regional ties: Live in the Balto-DC area. However, ideally I would want to go out of state. I went to UMD undergrad, and I'm ready to leave. Georgetown Law is really the only thing that would make me consider staying

Accepted at:

  • USC (no scholarship info as of yet)
  • Wash U (9k/year)
  • Notre Dame (20k/year)
  • Emory (80k; 27k/year)
  • ASU (90k; 40k first year, then 25k for next two)
  • UMD

Still need to hear from:

  • UCLA
  • Northwestern
  • Vanderbilt
  • UT-Austin
  • Georgetown
  • Stanford
  • NYU
  • Duke
  • Michigan
  • Cornell

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

Postby Nomo » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:05 pm

Zeeguy91 wrote:Haven't heard from all of my schools yet, but here's where I'm at right now:

Goals: Either to end up in Big Law (?), entertainment, or immigration law. Also considering using a law degree to further my opportunities in another career, such as public policy. Would ultimately want to end up in L.A. or San Francisco, but would also live in NYC.

Regional ties: Live in the Balto-DC area. However, ideally I would want to go out of state. I went to UMD undergrad, and I'm ready to leave. Georgetown Law is really the only thing that would make me consider staying

Accepted at:

  • USC (no scholarship info as of yet)
  • Wash U (9k/year)
  • Notre Dame (20k/year)
  • Emory (80k; 27k/year)
  • ASU (90k; 40k first year, then 25k for next two)
  • UMD

Still need to hear from:

  • UCLA
  • Northwestern
  • Vanderbilt
  • UT-Austin
  • Georgetown
  • Stanford
  • NYU
  • Duke
  • Michigan
  • Cornell


Biglaw is an unlikely outcome for any of the schools that have admitted you. Entertainment law would be an unlikely outcome even if Harvard or Stanford admitted you (I assume by entertainment you mean working with copyright, contracts, etc. in the world of art, music, sports, etc.). Immigration is more realistic, unless your talking about doing asylum for victims of human trafficking or something.

From a financial standpoint its pretty clear that none of your options are good. You've been accepted to good schools, but they've been mismanaged in such a way that they are not affordable without MAJOR scholarships. Even your waitlist schools are terrible deals at sticker price. Re-take and try again next year; or find another career path. That's my advice.

Zeeguy91
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Zeeguy91 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:56 am

Nomo wrote:Biglaw is an unlikely outcome for any of the schools that have admitted you. Entertainment law would be an unlikely outcome even if Harvard or Stanford admitted you (I assume by entertainment you mean working with copyright, contracts, etc. in the world of art, music, sports, etc.). Immigration is more realistic, unless your talking about doing asylum for victims of human trafficking or something.

From a financial standpoint its pretty clear that none of your options are good. You've been accepted to good schools, but they've been mismanaged in such a way that they are not affordable without MAJOR scholarships. Even your waitlist schools are terrible deals at sticker price. Re-take and try again next year; or find another career path. That's my advice.


Really? Because all of the research I've done suggests that USC is quite good at placing within Big Law in L.A. Plus, those other schools I've listed aren't my waitlist schools. They're the ones I haven't heard back from yet.

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

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:37 am

Zeeguy91 wrote:
Nomo wrote:Biglaw is an unlikely outcome for any of the schools that have admitted you. Entertainment law would be an unlikely outcome even if Harvard or Stanford admitted you (I assume by entertainment you mean working with copyright, contracts, etc. in the world of art, music, sports, etc.). Immigration is more realistic, unless your talking about doing asylum for victims of human trafficking or something.

From a financial standpoint its pretty clear that none of your options are good. You've been accepted to good schools, but they've been mismanaged in such a way that they are not affordable without MAJOR scholarships. Even your waitlist schools are terrible deals at sticker price. Re-take and try again next year; or find another career path. That's my advice.


Really? Because all of the research I've done suggests that USC is quite good at placing within Big Law in L.A. Plus, those other schools I've listed aren't my waitlist schools. They're the ones I haven't heard back from yet.


(0L alert) USC puts about 30% of it's class into Big Law jobs, with another 7% in federal clerkships. That's indeed pretty good for a non-T14 school, imo. However, it's still too low if you need Big Law because you paid sticker price.

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dc91
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby dc91 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:07 am

Goals: Biglaw (initially for obvious reasons)/in house (eventually)
Ties: Texas, NC, but I'd definitely like to come back south eventually maybe (ATL?)
Schools:
NYU: ~150k debt (100k scholly)
Emory: ~140k debt (111k)*
Duke: unsure
Other things: URM (splitter); still waiting on S (not optimistic) & CC

Definitely leaning towards NYU at this point, but I think Duke could give me enough to make it worthwhile (and it's so much smaller). Thoughts?

*emory or nyu has to be lying about col, right?

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

Postby bcmax » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:16 am

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Last edited by bcmax on Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby JCougar » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:34 pm

buffalo_ wrote:Goal: BigLaw/Clerkship initially, PI/Govt/Academia down the road

Ties: Grew up in Tri-State area, still have family there. Too far to commute to NYC

Schools: Columbia - sticker+COL (~260K before interest)
NYU - sticker+COL (~250K before interest)
Cardozo - Named Scholarship. COL only (I would only take out Stafford loans to cover this so ~$60k before interest)

Other info: Minimal undergraduate debt (<5k remaining) Will be 100% debt financed. No ability to receive parental aid, not enough savings to make a dent.

Thanks all.


Sticker at Columbia/NYU even if you get Biglaw is a gamble, because your debt will be so monstrous that you'll need to stay in Biglaw far longer than the average associate to pay it off. Somewhere between 65-75% of Biglaw associates are gone by year 5. It's a churn & burn business model. If you're living in NYC, you're going to need 7-8 years of biglaw to pay off Columbia/NYU sticker debt.

I think you'll eventually get a scholly offer from someone in between.

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

Postby Nomo » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:51 pm

Zeeguy91 wrote:
Nomo wrote:Biglaw is an unlikely outcome for any of the schools that have admitted you. Entertainment law would be an unlikely outcome even if Harvard or Stanford admitted you (I assume by entertainment you mean working with copyright, contracts, etc. in the world of art, music, sports, etc.). Immigration is more realistic, unless your talking about doing asylum for victims of human trafficking or something.

From a financial standpoint its pretty clear that none of your options are good. You've been accepted to good schools, but they've been mismanaged in such a way that they are not affordable without MAJOR scholarships. Even your waitlist schools are terrible deals at sticker price. Re-take and try again next year; or find another career path. That's my advice.


Really? Because all of the research I've done suggests that USC is quite good at placing within Big Law in L.A. Plus, those other schools I've listed aren't my waitlist schools. They're the ones I haven't heard back from yet.


"Quite good," sure, at least relative to most other schools. But, the majority who want biglaw don't get it. Its an unlikely outcome. Check the LST reports. Good luck with the other schools. But, I wouldn't do them at sticker. Sticker price, plus COA, plus interest, plus origination fees is coming close to 300k. Hardly anyone can manage to pay that off in less than 5 years, even w/ biglaw, but most biglaw associates burn out or are tossed out within 5 years. And biglaw isn't much better than a 50/50 proposition at most of the schools you haven't heard from.

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

Postby Nomo » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:53 pm

bcmax wrote:Interest: IP litigation... preferably in pharmaceuticals/ medical devices want to live in Midwest or Cali
Background: Biochem degree from UMich (Patent bar eligible), 2 publications in ACS journals, patent pending
Ties: Strong ties to Indiana (home state), Michigan, and Chicago area, limited ties (but still significant) in Iowa and Ohio

Decisions: Iowa full-ride with living stipend-- Extremely interested in their IMIG (Iowa Medical Innovation Group) program plus long term boyfriend just relocated to a city about 30 minutes away

ND- Full ride

IU- Bloomington Full ride

WUSTL- estimated with COL and scholarships subtracted to be 100k for all three years. Interested in their journal and clinical opportunities

Northwestern - sticker

Michigan and Vandy- Waitlist

Stanford and USC- no response yet

Any thoughts?


I'm going with ND, but its a tough call. You've got good personal reasons to go to Iowa. Stay away from Northwestern at sticker.

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

Postby krsone » Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:03 pm

Goal(s): PI or Criminal (DA's office or public defender's) in Texas.

Regional Ties: Experience and references with a national org related to criminal law that has connections throughout country and TX, but personally I have none to TX beyond my wife.

School(s):
Houston - near full scholarship
SMU - little over half
UCLA- Sticker
UNC- half
Washington & Lee- half

Other pertinent information: I am coming from outside of TX and am not from TX. No loans, good amount of money saved up so if I were to take Houston, living expenses are covered. Other schools wouldn't hurt, but I'd like to minimize debt given my humble aspirations. I might prefer Houston over Dallas as a place to live and given the cost of living differences. Tell me what I already suspect.

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

Postby Otunga » Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:44 pm

Are Virginia and Cornell more or less peers for Boston biglaw placement? I tend to be primarily focused on obtaining Boston biglaw with ambivalence towards NYC. If given comparable COA at each school, is there reason to give an edge to either?

Zeeguy91
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Zeeguy91 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:02 pm

Nomo wrote:"Quite good," sure, at least relative to most other schools. But, the majority who want biglaw don't get it. Its an unlikely outcome. Check the LST reports. Good luck with the other schools. But, I wouldn't do them at sticker. Sticker price, plus COA, plus interest, plus origination fees is coming close to 300k. Hardly anyone can manage to pay that off in less than 5 years, even w/ biglaw, but most biglaw associates burn out or are tossed out within 5 years. And biglaw isn't much better than a 50/50 proposition at most of the schools you haven't heard from.


Thank you. However, I feel that I should clarify one point. I will most likely not be taking out loans. My family has agreed to cover my tuition/living expenses while in law school. Obviously, I am therefore going to try to be as cost-effective as possible. However, I am going to try to negotiate for some money from USC and any other schools I receive acceptances from as they roll in.




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