Justification for sticker at UVA?

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HomericVoice
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Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby HomericVoice » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:12 pm

I am thinking of ED-ing to UVA with an LSAT of 169 and a GPA of 3.49. I have an undergraduate degree (in English) from a relatively unknown state school. I have a master's degree (again, in English) from a well-known private school. I've been teaching at the community college level for a few years, and the pay is garbage. My pre-tax salary is about $33k. I can manage a few bonuses here and there for summer teaching, but those teaching opportunities are never guaranteed from year to year. If I decide to work here (or at a peer institution) for the long haul, I might work for another ten years before seeing a raise to, say, 45k. I have colleagues who've worked here since the 70s and now make about 52-53k.

There are elements of the job I enjoy; of course, there are elements of the job I hate. The philosophy of Common Core is invading the community college scene, so the freedom to do what I want in the classroom is being shut down. In other words, what I like about the job is being taken away from me and it's not going to get better from here.

It takes about 6 years to earn a Ph.D. in English, and that's followed by a job market that rivals that of law. That's not an option in my book.

Almost everything I read on TLS says that UVA at sticker would be absolutely insane. I'm thinking, though, if I get Big Law (big if, I know), then after taxes, student loan payments, living expenses?--I'd still be making a hell of a lot more money than I am now, and I'd have better prospects for the rest of my life.

What do you all think? Am I crazy for thinking about the gamble?

Ehh, for what it's worth, I've taken the LSAT four times. I think a 169 is about the ceiling for me. :oops:

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twenty
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby twenty » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:19 pm

Your numbers aren't bad, but sticker at UVA is not a good plan. Your numbers will probably get you lots of money at a strong regional school - what geographic area are you?

HomericVoice
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby HomericVoice » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:20 pm

twenty wrote:Your numbers aren't bad, but sticker at UVA is not a good plan. Your numbers will probably get you lots of money at a strong regional school - what geographic area are you?


I'm in the Southeast.

BigZuck
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby BigZuck » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:23 pm

Depends on how much you care about being in a stoopid amount of non-dischargeable debt and your desire to work in a job that most people apparently hate and move on from within a few years I guess

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BruceWayne
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby BruceWayne » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:27 pm

Go to one of Vanderbilt, UNC, UGA, or Bama with a scholarship depending on where in the SE you are from and where in the SE you want to practice.

Nomo
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby Nomo » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:32 pm

On a 10 year repayment plan you're looking at paying 3k to 3.4k per month (depending on whether you're instate and how much money you borrow for cost of living).

To pay off this kind of debt you better get biglaw. You better like it enough to stick around for at least 3-5 years. You better not get caught in a bad economy and suffer from layoffs, stealth layoffs, or a firm implosion. And you better find a good job when you exit biglaw. The chance that all of these contingencies work out in your favor is way below 50%. I wouldn't do it.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby JohannDeMann » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:37 pm

HomericVoice wrote:I am thinking of ED-ing to UVA with an LSAT of 169 and a GPA of 3.49. I have an undergraduate degree (in English) from a relatively unknown state school. I have a master's degree (again, in English) from a well-known private school. I've been teaching at the community college level for a few years, and the pay is garbage. My pre-tax salary is about $33k. I can manage a few bonuses here and there for summer teaching, but those teaching opportunities are never guaranteed from year to year. If I decide to work here (or at a peer institution) for the long haul, I might work for another ten years before seeing a raise to, say, 45k. I have colleagues who've worked here since the 70s and now make about 52-53k.

There are elements of the job I enjoy; of course, there are elements of the job I hate. The philosophy of Common Core is invading the community college scene, so the freedom to do what I want in the classroom is being shut down. In other words, what I like about the job is being taken away from me and it's not going to get better from here.

It takes about 6 years to earn a Ph.D. in English, and that's followed by a job market that rivals that of law. That's not an option in my book.

Almost everything I read on TLS says that UVA at sticker would be absolutely insane. I'm thinking, though, if I get Big Law (big if, I know), then after taxes, student loan payments, living expenses?--I'd still be making a hell of a lot more money than I am now, and I'd have better prospects for the rest of my life.

What do you all think? Am I crazy for thinking about the gamble?

Ehh, for what it's worth, I've taken the LSAT four times. I think a 169 is about the ceiling for me. :oops:


Nah, you're good. Go for it. Your life sucks massively now, so the debt won't phase you as much as someone else. good try at trying the non law rout. No sarcasm, all for serious.

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twenty
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby twenty » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:39 pm

Yeah, I'd be very surprised if you didn't pick up a very large scholarship from one of the good SE schools. Emory and W&M will probably give you a lot of money, too.

edit> just to be clear, taking on 300k+ in student loan debt for biglaw is insanity.

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Rigo
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby Rigo » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:00 pm

You may even snag UVA RD. The T14 will be hungry for 169's, I expect.
That amount of debt is insane. There's always a healthy chance you'll strike out at OCI, so you're not even guaranteed biglaw. It's way too risky to ED.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:08 pm

Agree that ED would be a poor choice when many, probably most, Tier 1, but not T-14, law schools will offer substantial scholarship money. Simply put: Don't put all of your eggs in one basket.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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runinthefront
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby runinthefront » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:09 pm

HomericVoice wrote:
twenty wrote:Your numbers aren't bad, but sticker at UVA is not a good plan. Your numbers will probably get you lots of money at a strong regional school - what geographic area are you?


I'm in the Southeast.


If you're from Georgia...UGA on a 75% ride or something (with your stats, that's definitely attainable...if not better) is a no-brainer.

If you're from Florida, you should be able to snag a full ride from UF/FSU with relative ease.

I'm assuming you're not from Texas, since everyone from Texas knows Texas is Texas in Texas.

If you're from Alabama and wouldn't mind sta...you get the point.

Don't ruin your life by going to UVA at sticker. You lament the lack of freedom in your current job--why would you subject yourself to the fetters of massive debt?

lawschoolbound94
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby lawschoolbound94 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:51 pm

Any school at sticker is a bad idea. It is ALOT of debt to take on. The general rule should be, pick the best school that offered the most money.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:08 pm

GULC evening student here (paying full sticker - we don't even get to apply for financial aid). I am somewhat baffled by the strong discouragement here. I (and the vast majority of my peers) did quite well at OCI (and I was only looking at DC firms - a decently hard market to get into). I imagine I'd have had an even easier time if I had been at UVA (Does anyone seriously dispute that UVA provides better hiring options than GULC?)

The caveats others posted above absolutely apply: you have to be sure you want to practice in a big firm for 3+ years (let's face it, though, 5+ is more likely the necessity). You also have to play the odds - you need to get good enough grades to compete for the top jobs, you'll need to be sure you can hack it at the firm you'll be joining, and you better be confident that the jobs will even be there (the legal profession isn't exactly in a boom time these days).

So yes, you will be taking on a risk - and you will be betting a mortgage's worth of money in so doing. BUT if you are going to UVA, have life/work experience that your K-JD peers do not, and have done some reasonable degree of research beforehand about your career planning, the odds will be quite favorable. Nobody got anywhere financially without taking some risks (absent being born into wealth/privilege) - a UVA JD puts you in a better position than many.

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eriedoctrine
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby eriedoctrine » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:16 pm

zacharus85 wrote:GULC evening student here (paying full sticker - we don't even get to apply for financial aid). I am somewhat baffled by the strong discouragement here. I (and the vast majority of my peers) did quite well at OCI (and I was only looking at DC firms - a decently hard market to get into). I imagine I'd have had an even easier time if I had been at UVA (Does anyone seriously dispute that UVA provides better hiring options than GULC?)

The caveats others posted above absolutely apply: you have to be sure you want to practice in a big firm for 3+ years (let's face it, though, 5+ is more likely the necessity). You also have to play the odds - you need to get good enough grades to compete for the top jobs, you'll need to be sure you can hack it at the firm you'll be joining, and you better be confident that the jobs will even be there (the legal profession isn't exactly in a boom time these days).

So yes, you will be taking on a risk - and you will be betting a mortgage's worth of money in so doing. BUT if you are going to UVA, have life/work experience that your K-JD peers do not, and have done some reasonable degree of research beforehand about your career planning, the odds will be quite favorable. Nobody got anywhere financially without taking some risks (absent being born into wealth/privilege) - a UVA JD puts you in a better position than many.


No.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:54 pm

What about at attending a T1 with a full ride? With your numbers schools in the T50 will give you full tuition. The odds will be against you to get big law, but you will still have 10-15% chance, and otherwise no debt.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby Ron Don Volante » Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:15 pm

I think Vanderbilt (or maybe UT) would be a good option here. It'll be a lot cheaper than UVA and the biglaw chances are still pretty solid. It's a lot less risk for a pretty good shot at the same reward.

BigZuck
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby BigZuck » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:01 pm

Ron Don Volante wrote:I think Vanderbilt (or maybe UT) would be a good option here. It'll be a lot cheaper than UVA and the biglaw chances are still pretty solid. It's a lot less risk for a pretty good shot at the same reward.

He's probably going to have to gun for NYC

That's doable from median at UVA. I think it would be generous to say that's doable with top 25% at UT/Vandy (er, well, UT at least, maybe it's easier at Vandy, a Vandy student would have to confirm). And there is a pretty solid gap between median and top 25% grades.

Obviously we would have to see the numbers but I'm not sure that Vandy with 45K or so would be better than UVA sticker here. Saving 50-60K might not be worth the sizeable hit to big law chances and he's going to be buried by debt either way.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby Ron Don Volante » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:16 pm

BigZuck wrote:
Ron Don Volante wrote:I think Vanderbilt (or maybe UT) would be a good option here. It'll be a lot cheaper than UVA and the biglaw chances are still pretty solid. It's a lot less risk for a pretty good shot at the same reward.

He's probably going to have to gun for NYC

That's doable from median at UVA. I think it would be generous to say that's doable with top 25% at UT/Vandy (er, well, UT at least, maybe it's easier at Vandy, a Vandy student would have to confirm). And there is a pretty solid gap between median and top 25% grades.

Obviously we would have to see the numbers but I'm not sure that Vandy with 45K or so would be better than UVA sticker here. Saving 50-60K might not be worth the sizeable hit to big law chances and he's going to be buried by debt either way.

He'd be looking at ~75K at Vandy. I didn't see that part of NYC. I assumed we were talking any biglaw or practicing generally in the southeast. If goals are outside the region I agree UVA is probably worth the extra debt.

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cron1834
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby cron1834 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:15 pm

To reiterate (some of) the above - UVA is a good school, but no to sticker.

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ballcaps
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby ballcaps » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:36 pm

eriedoctrine wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:GULC evening student here (paying full sticker - we don't even get to apply for financial aid). I am somewhat baffled by the strong discouragement here. I (and the vast majority of my peers) did quite well at OCI (and I was only looking at DC firms - a decently hard market to get into). I imagine I'd have had an even easier time if I had been at UVA (Does anyone seriously dispute that UVA provides better hiring options than GULC?)

The caveats others posted above absolutely apply: you have to be sure you want to practice in a big firm for 3+ years (let's face it, though, 5+ is more likely the necessity). You also have to play the odds - you need to get good enough grades to compete for the top jobs, you'll need to be sure you can hack it at the firm you'll be joining, and you better be confident that the jobs will even be there (the legal profession isn't exactly in a boom time these days).

So yes, you will be taking on a risk - and you will be betting a mortgage's worth of money in so doing. BUT if you are going to UVA, have life/work experience that your K-JD peers do not, and have done some reasonable degree of research beforehand about your career planning, the odds will be quite favorable. Nobody got anywhere financially without taking some risks (absent being born into wealth/privilege) - a UVA JD puts you in a better position than many.


No.

BigZuck
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby BigZuck » Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:53 pm

Ron Don Volante wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
Ron Don Volante wrote:I think Vanderbilt (or maybe UT) would be a good option here. It'll be a lot cheaper than UVA and the biglaw chances are still pretty solid. It's a lot less risk for a pretty good shot at the same reward.

He's probably going to have to gun for NYC

That's doable from median at UVA. I think it would be generous to say that's doable with top 25% at UT/Vandy (er, well, UT at least, maybe it's easier at Vandy, a Vandy student would have to confirm). And there is a pretty solid gap between median and top 25% grades.

Obviously we would have to see the numbers but I'm not sure that Vandy with 45K or so would be better than UVA sticker here. Saving 50-60K might not be worth the sizeable hit to big law chances and he's going to be buried by debt either way.

He'd be looking at ~75K at Vandy. I didn't see that part of NYC. I assumed we were talking any biglaw or practicing generally in the southeast. If goals are outside the region I agree UVA is probably worth the extra debt.

I tend to proceed as if Southeast big law doesn't exist. I think that's probably the safest way to proceed. Florida is a wasteland. Atlanta seems to be a thing, but I'd imagine you'd need to be at least top quarter at a school like Vandy based on what I have heard about the GPA whoreishness of the market. I know there is some BIG BIRMINGHAM LAW but I assume that's for Alabamans (Alabamanians?) and I doubt it's much of a thing.

Big law= NYC. I think that's all most people can realistically hope for. But maybe being from the Southeast and going to Vandy would give him a sizeable leg up on the competition.

I'm also too lazy to crunch the numbers on Vandy v UVA but if it really is a 75K scholarship and that makes Vandy like 100K cheaper I agree, that's a better option.

03152016
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby 03152016 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:29 pm

you don't know if you'll hit median
you don't know if you'll strike out
you don't know if you'll last long enough in biglaw to pay off your loans
you don't know if you'll "have better prospects for the rest of your life" once you leave biglaw
lot of risk here
you're applying with 169/3.49. you'll have objectively very good options outside of the t14. i would see what the regionals offer, and then compare it to your t14 aid

crit_racer
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby crit_racer » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:30 pm

I would go to UT. Lots of out of staters get TX biglaw, and if you kill it (like top 15%) you have a good shot at southeast biglaw or NYC.

IMO, it's a better call than Vandy b/c it opens up TX to you. Some firms may ding you if you don't have ties to the state, but my year from UT there were tons of out of state kids who went to the big houston shops.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:00 pm

Retake and then ED NW

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Justification for sticker at UVA?

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:02 pm

Mack.Hambleton wrote:Retake and then ED NW


HomericVoice wrote:Ehh, for what it's worth, I've taken the LSAT four times. I think a 169 is about the ceiling for me. :oops:




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