GW No $ vs. Iowa Full Tuition + RA

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

GW Law or Iowa Law

GW Law $288,231 COA
3
14%
Iowa Law (full tuition scholarship) $66,235 COA
19
86%
 
Total votes: 22

mattcindc
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GW No $ vs. Iowa Full Tuition + RA

Postby mattcindc » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:05 pm

See the list below; I've been accepted at GW Law, where I would love to go, but Iowa Law has offered me full tuition + RA position.

Total indebtedness for GW would be $288,231
Total indebtedness for Iowa would be $66,235

I know rankings are not everything, but is a $200,000+ difference worth it for a school 5 spots higher? I've talked to some 2L's at GW who have said that competition is fierce for the big firm jobs, and there's very few spots open these days. So if I'm gonna have a small shot at a big firm job anywhere, shouldn't I try and be with as little debt as possible?

GPA: 3.76
LSAT: 162 (took one time)

Financing law school through loans
Last edited by mattcindc on Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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zhenders
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby zhenders » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:11 pm

Retake

(No seriously)

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mi-chan17
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby mi-chan17 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:14 pm

I went to GW Law, and I could not in good conscience ever advise somewhere to go there at sticker. Contrary to your OP, worst case scenario isn't over $250k in debt with a mediocre job, it's over $250k in debt with no job (and being paid by the school $15/hour to go work for someone for free for a year).

That said, for your goals, Iowa isn't optimal either. Iowa is a regional school in a place you don't sound like you have any ties and it doesn't have huge biglaw numbers.

Frankly, given your GPA, the fact you've taken the LSAT once, and your goal of ending up in biglaw, I think TCR here is to retake.

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smaug_
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby smaug_ » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:15 pm

mattcindc wrote:GW:
Best case scenario, I get the $160,000 job coming out of GW, but am $288,231 in debt. I RECOGNIZE THIS IS UNLIKELY
Worst case scenario, I get an okay job coming out of GW, but do not get a job and am $288,231 in debt
Iowa:
Best case scenario, I get the $160,000 job coming out of Iowa, but am only $66,235 in debt I RECOGNIZE THIS IS VERY UNLIKELY
Worst case scenario, I get an okay job coming out of Iowa, but do not get a job and am only $66,235 in debt


Seriously, retake. If you don't want to work in Iowa and want biglaw, don't go to Iowa. Definitely do not go to GW at sticker.

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zhenders
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby zhenders » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:18 pm

Congrats on your impending graduation mate -- but for real, you've been on TLS for a while, right? How could you not know that the universal response with a decent GPA and a not decent LSAT with 2 more tries left would yield any response other than "what are you thinking retake"?

:-) hop to it! Study and get that scholly.

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isuperserial
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby isuperserial » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:21 pm

mattcindc wrote:I'm a huge reader of TLS but this is my inaugural post! Hope you can help me with this big decision:

See the list below; I've been accepted at GW Law, where I would love to go, but Iowa Law has offered me full tuition + RA position. My goal is big law after graduation, preferably in Chicago, DC, New York, or Atlanta.

Total indebtedness for GW would be $288,231
Total indebtedness for Iowa would be $66,235

I know rankings are not everything, but is a $200,000+ difference worth it for a school 5 spots higher? I go to GW now for undergrad, so I'm thinking that if I work my butt off at Iowa, I could have a shot at getting back to DC. I've talked to some 2L's at GW who have said that competition is fierce for the big firm jobs, and there's very few spots open these days. So if I'm gonna have a small shot at a big firm job anywhere, shouldn't I try and be with as little debt as possible?

ANY ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE WOULD HELP ME GREATLY. THANKS!!

GW:
Best case scenario, I get the $160,000 job coming out of GW, but am $288,231 in debt
Worst case scenario, I get an okay job coming out of GW, but am $288,231 in debt
Iowa:
Best case scenario, I get the $160,000 job coming out of Iowa, but am only $66,235 in debt
Worst case scenario, I get an okay job coming out of Iowa, but am only $66,235 in debt

Accepted:
GW
Notre Dame
Iowa - Full Tuition + Guaranteed Paid Research Assistant Position (Good standing stip.)
BU - $15,000 per year (good standing stip.)
W&M - $15,000 per year (good standing stip.)
UGA
Fordham - $15,000 per year (good standing stip.)

Waitlist:
UVA
Georgetown
Vanderbilt
UMN

Deny:
Harvard
NYU
UC Berkeley

GPA: 3.76
LSAT: 162 (took one time)

Financing law school through loans


Yeah, yeah, retake. That's the advice some will throw at you, but you already know that's an option. If you TRULY want biglaw, that's probably your only option, unless you get Georgetown or UVA off the waitlist.

That leaves us with the question; how adverse to debt are you? Do you mind being that much in debt? I mean, if you really don't give a shit, then obviously go to GW if you want that shot in the dark at Biglaw. If you really don't like the idea of being that much in debt, than Iowa sounds perfect. Can't beat free (or close to it, I suppose). This isn't a decision I'm going to make for you, but instead I'll ask the question that you should ask yourself. Would you rather be loads in debt and have a shot at Biglaw, or would you rather graduate with little to no debt, and get a comfortable job somewhere in the midwest? I'm faced with a similar decision, I feel your pain.

First, toss around the offers to the various schools. Tell Notre Dame, BU, and GW about the offer from Iowa. Maybe you can squeeze a little money out of one of them. Notre Dame and BU are as good or better for Biglaw as GW, so be smart and look at all those option accordingly. Pick the one that ends up being cheapest. Good luck!

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:23 pm

Worst case scenario at both schools is no job. That is definitely possible.

GW at sticker--> no one will tell you to do this. That would be an epochally bad choice.
Iowa full ride--> if you want to live and practice in Iowa, then do it. This is the best school in Iowa. If you don't want to live in Iowa you had better be top 10% to get into another market. If you are median at Iowa you will have a hell of a time getting a job outside the state and very possibly getting a job period.

mattcindc
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + RA

Postby mattcindc » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:24 pm

Too late to re-take LSAT
Last edited by mattcindc on Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Frothingslosh
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby Frothingslosh » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:30 pm

mattcindc wrote:I appreciate the responses suggested I re-take the LSAT. However, unfortunately it's too late in the game for that now. Too late to take February test and next test is in June. I work near-full time for gov while in school, which explains my lower LSAT score.

Given my current options, what are your thoughts?


Too late for this cycle? Yes.

You are doing yourself a HUGE disservice by not sitting out this run and retaking. Law school isn't going anywhere. Don't waste that GPA and don't go to Iowa unless you are totally okay with either a) practicing in Iowa, or b) being unemployed in Iowa.

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zhenders
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby zhenders » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:31 pm

No dude, I'm sorry, this is dumb. 162 on first attempt, and you want biglaw? Just suck it up and take a year to study the LSAT! How is this even a decision to be made? You want biglaw? Then Jesus Christ get your LSAT up 8 friggin points and go to NYU or Columbia with scholarship money! Your options don't make ANY friggin sense -- all they tell anyone is that you're more excited to get into law school for 2014 than to have a good future. By choosing either of these schools instead of taking one short year to study your ass off and get 170+ on your LSAT, you will be completely setting yourself up for failure. Sorry dude. Makes no friggin sense. I know you are totally excited to go and maybe the idea of waiting makes you flip your shit, but that one decision might literally be the difference between being debt free and making 300k+/year in 10 years and making 60-90k (or LESS)/year.

The only wise financial decision is to retake. Period. If you decide to go without even attempting the LSAT again, just know what you're throwing away.

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mi-chan17
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby mi-chan17 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:32 pm

I would still suggest waiting a year and retaking. Especially if you're already employed.

Gun to my head have to pick? I need more information - what is the COA at the other schools you're looking at?

I don't think GW has given out its scholarship offers yet (the past few years they came out in Feb, I think), so it's not impossible for you to get some money there. However, if it's on par with BC/BU, it's not enough. Do not spend $200k to go to GW.

Do not go to Iowa expecting biglaw outside Iowa.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:36 pm

mattcindc wrote:I appreciate the responses suggested I re-take the LSAT. However, unfortunately it's too late in the game for that now. Too late to take February test and next test is in June. I work near-full time for gov while in school, which explains my lower LSAT score.

Given my current options, what are your thoughts?


1. Given the situation law schools are facing they probably will accept a june score this cycle
2. why not just defer a year? there is no rush. I definitely think law school is hardest and sucks the most for the K-JDs

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smaug_
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby smaug_ » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:45 pm

mattcindc wrote:I appreciate the responses suggested I re-take the LSAT. However, unfortunately it's too late in the game for that now. Too late to take February test and next test is in June. I work near-full time for gov while in school, which explains my lower LSAT score.

Given my current options, what are your thoughts?


Given your current options, I wouldn't go to law school. If you don't want to retake, that would be my earnest advice.

I love it when people on this board act like it is somehow brave and intelligent to go to a shitty school. Most people who go to law school should not. I think that probably didn't sink in, so I'm going to repeat it: most people who go to law school should not.

Folks have generally given up on giving earnest advice in the on topics. I understand why. It's easy to troll around here. But, even when people are trolling, there are scads of other students ruining their lives by going to law school. So, if you're real (and I earnestly hope you are not) stop and think hard about the following for a second:

Only 27% of GW students will be working at large firms. 27 per fucking cent. Some people (probably not you because again, I pray you're not real) will pay nearly 300k for a 27% shot at a job that pays 160k. That should give anyone pause. Most of the rest will end up in far worse jobs, if they end up in jobs at all.

There's a poster on another forum who went to GW law and is now working as a barista. (He's quite happy with that, but somehow I doubt that you would be.) Would you like to spend 300k to become a barista? This is a real outcome that can await you if you go to GW at sticker.

See this is where our hypothetical 0L (not you, because again, you'd never be this foolish) would think "Oh, but not me, I assuredly can be part of the blessed 27%!" Unlike many on this board, I'm willing to play along with that assumption. Let's say that is you, you shining special snowflake.

You're now working at Warpe, Wistfull, Kubitschek and McMingus making 160k and living the "dream." Sadly, you're going to be living like a law student for a number of years while you're repaying your debt and billing over 2000 hours a year. Does that sound like a dream existence? Is that really what you aspire to?

To those of us who understand how bleak the hiring situation is and still go, the optimism evinced on this board can be maddening. Don't go to law school because you're a dreamer and you know you can make it. Go to law school because you're a bitter pessimist who has given up on finding joy in this life. If you can honestly count yourself in the latter category, you should also realize that you can work a crappy job for a year, chow down on the shit sandwich that is studying for the LSAT, and reapply so that your future prospects are a bland charcoal gray rather than pitch black and without hope.

Have fun.

Paul Campos
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby Paul Campos » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:02 pm

Math time.

You want to work for a big firm in Chicago (very tough market) Atlanta (tougher market) or DC (toughest market), but you're willing to settle for NYC biglaw.

Odds of getting this out of Iowa: Less than 10%

Odds of getting this out of GW: Supposedly 25% to 30% but actually a lot lower if you're not connected, IP, or a URM. Let's be optimistic and call it 15%.

And if you think the worst case scenario out of these schools is an "OK" job you need to think about it some more.

You got a 162 on your first LSAT and it sounds like you didn't study all that hard because of your work/school schedule. Let's assume that you're an average retaker. Note that you're already assuming you're going to be a much better than average law student, or otherwise your career goals make no sense, so if you want you can assume the following percentages will actually be much higher for you, since you will work much harder than the average retaker, just like you're going to work much harder than the average law student.

Anyway:

Odds that the average retaker with 162 will get a 168 or higher on first retake: 15%.

168 will get you into some T-14s, with a little money at one or two.

Odds that the average retaker with a 162 will get a 170 or higher on first retake: 8.5%. That will get you into everywhere except HYS.

In probabalistic terms, your present plan is to light several hundred thousand dollars on fire.

timbs4339
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:10 pm

A lot of good advice in this thread. OP, you probably believe that the "worst case scenario" from GW is a 85-95K 40 hour a week job for a midsized law firm or working for the government. It's not. The worst case scenario, which is the reality for 20% of GWs class, is working for the Pathways to Practice program, for $15/hr, and having to deal with shit like the outgoing dean trying to cut your salary by 33% because making $15/hr isn't incentive enough to get a job. In other words, GW is not going to guarantee you some comfortable job if you don't get biglaw. It will ruin your life.

The CR is retake. If not, go to Iowa.

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worldtraveler
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby worldtraveler » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:03 pm

Do you have undergrad debt too?

And seriously dude, retake. I don't care what bullshit excuses you have.

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bjsesq
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby bjsesq » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:06 pm

If not dumb-> retake
If dumb and convinced must go now-> Iowa, without question.

BigZuck
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby BigZuck » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:39 pm

I'm going to buck conventional wisdom here and...

HAHA, no I'm not. Retake.

Or don't go to law school cuz unrealistic goals

NYstate
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby NYstate » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:18 pm

Neither school gives you a decent shot at biglaw.
Don't go to either of them. I'm very serious about this. You have no concept of how competitive the biglaw market is and how many people are gunning for it out of need.

And why do you want biglaw? What do you know about it?

Going 260.000 plus into debt for the terrible trap school that is GW is suicidal. Read inside the law school scam for Campos take on trap schools.
If you don't want to retake, understand that you aren't getting biglaw and go from there.

jthomas.7489
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby jthomas.7489 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:17 pm

mattcindc wrote:My goal is big law after graduation, preferably in Chicago, DC, New York, or Atlanta.



I am a current student at Iowa, and I am glad I am attending the school. I will come out with the result that I wanted, practicing in a small city in the Midwest working reasonable hours and making a decent living.

However, if you are sure you want big law in those cities, Iowa is not the place to go. Based on what I have seen, it is possible to get big law in those cities, but not likely unless you are at the top of the class. I would say about half of my friends are happy with their situation at Iowa, but they were not set on big law outside of Iowa. My friends that are disappointed that they went to Iowa are those that wanted big law in places like Atlanta--that is just not very realistic unless you are at the very top, and were expecting to make 100,000+.

Edit: I should mention that I believe the drop in attendance at both Iowa and Drake will make for better employment situations within Iowa, and also probably places like Minneapolis and Kansas City. I think that there are a number of firms who are going to hire a certain number of Iowa grads every year or every couple of years, especially in Des Moines, and there will not be nearly as much competition in the future. It sounds like you don't want to end up in Iowa, though.
I do believe that Iowa could be a good choice (especially with a full tuition scholarship), if you are ok with practicing in Iowa (like me). Since I knew that I did not want big law and I wanted to stay in a smaller Midwest city, outside of maybe Yale, I think it was the best choice for me.
Last edited by jthomas.7489 on Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jk148706
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby jk148706 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:20 pm

Paul Campos wrote:
In probabalistic terms, your present plan is to light several hundred thousand dollars on fire.

03152016
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby 03152016 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:42 pm

See you on the LSAT Prep board.

lakers180
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby lakers180 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:43 pm

retake

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Otunga
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Re: GW No $ vs. Iowa Law Full Tuition + Research Assistant

Postby Otunga » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:58 pm

Retake.

I guess Fordham is an option since you'd like NYC biglaw, but for a minimal chance and all that debt? No.




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