Cardozo v Fordham

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Matt_the_meche
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Cardozo v Fordham

Postby Matt_the_meche » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:27 am

Hi all,

I am looking for some guidance on where I should attend law school.

I have significant undergraduate debt (150k) from earning my mechanical engineering degree. I am trying to choose where to attend and would like to eventually work in IP litigation in NYC. I know this is probably a textbook case that has been posed and discussed repetitively but I would still like to see what people think of my specific situation.

The question is simply:
Cardozo with $42k scholarship (Maintain 2.95GPA), tuition is $53k and I am trying to negotiate for a full tuition scholarship.
V.
Fordham with $20k scholarship guaranteed for the 3 years.

Both are known for their IP programs.


Thank you,
Matt

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buckiguy_sucks
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Postby buckiguy_sucks » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:28 am

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Matt_the_meche
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby Matt_the_meche » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:30 am

If the return is significantly better to go to Fordham than I would consider it. IMO i think Cardozo on a full ride would be the better choice but I wanted to see what other's thoughts are.

exitoptions
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby exitoptions » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:34 am

There's a decent chance that Cordozo will make you less employable than you are now. Trust me, I've seen it happen to plenty of people who end up making less than they were before going to schools like Cordozo, Seton Hall, Brooklyn Law, etc. If I were you, I would get a job and pay off most of your prior debt before retaking the LSAT and trying for better options than you have now.

ETA: stips on scholarships are recipes for disaster. It's the people who do end up at the bottom of the curve who need the money.

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deadpanic
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby deadpanic » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:38 am

You should not go to law school at all. This would be life-ruining type of debt here. Even if you were to secure a high-paying BigLaw job, you would be drowning in so much debt it would not even be possible to pay it down minus winning the lottery.

Filing ch. 7 bankruptcy will not help you in 3.5ish years because the debt is all non-dischargeable.

Please do not do this. There is no possible outcome from either that could put you in a good position. Go work in engineering.

Matt_the_meche
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby Matt_the_meche » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:39 am

I've actually been working and paying off some of my debt now. I'm not really enjoying my job. I've been thinking about pursuing a career in law for awhile so I'm pretty sure that I am going to go somewhere.

Matt_the_meche
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby Matt_the_meche » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:40 am

My thought is that if I go to Cardozo and get a full scholarship, then the debt would not be that bad. I do not have any trouble covering my expenses now and I don't think I would when I graduate from law school.

exitoptions
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby exitoptions » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:43 am

Matt_the_meche wrote:My thought is that if I go to Cardozo and get a full scholarship, then the debt would not be that bad. I do not have any trouble covering my expenses now and I don't think I would when I graduate from law school.


What is your plan if you end up at the bottom of the class, lose the scholarship, and can't find a financially stable legal job?

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Clemenceau
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby Clemenceau » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:47 am

WHOA thats a lot of undergrad debt

I would absolutely not attend law school with that hanging over my head. You'll graduate with columbia debt and a cardozo degree

Matt_the_meche
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby Matt_the_meche » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:49 am

First, not to sound conceited, but I think the likelihood of that occurring is small. Second, I think that if you're going to law school seriously concerned about that, then you need to seriously reconsider attending at all. Third, I definitely agree that there is risk involved, but there is also a reward for pursuing that risk.

If that did happen, then I would know that I would cut my losses and find another endeavor to pursue.

exitoptions
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby exitoptions » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:54 am

Matt_the_meche wrote:First, not to sound conceited, but I think the likelihood of that occurring is small. Second, I think that if you're going to law school seriously concerned about that, then you need to seriously reconsider attending at all. Third, I definitely agree that there is risk involved, but there is also a reward for pursuing that risk.

If that did happen, then I would know that I would cut my losses and find another endeavor to pursue.


The likelihood of you being in the bottom half of the class is about 49%. I guess as long as you are willing to drop out if you lose the Dozo scholarship your risks are fairly capped. Honestly though, you already have more debt than I do, and I have at T-14 degree, fed clerkship, and big law job, and I still feel like I'm drowning in debt.

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DaRascal
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby DaRascal » Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:27 pm

Escape to Australia, leave your $150k in UG debt behind, and be who you always wanted to be. Come back to America in 20 years when everyone who wanted to come after you for fleeing the country has passed on or forgotten about it. :wink:

Matt_the_meche
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby Matt_the_meche » Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:40 pm

According to Cardozo, approximately 93% of their scholarship recipients retain their scholarships. I am not too afraid of losing my scholarship. In addition, I think a mitigating factor is that I am looking to go into IP law which is one of the better fields to be going into right now. I've been told that job prospects are generally better in this field and that firms are willing to look lower in class rankings to find qualified students with good engineering or hard science backgrounds. I earned a 3.3 in MechE from a top 25 engineering school.

In terms of repaying my loans, it obviously sucks that I have to pay but I am able to manage my expenses well, pay off my loans and save/invest a bit. Exitoptions, you make more than twice what I do and I do not have difficulty paying off my current loans.

Matt_the_meche
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby Matt_the_meche » Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:52 pm

I will also be able to keep my living expenses low because I share an apartment with my girlfriend and my parents are willing to help me with some expenses when I go to school.

At Cardozo: Total debt with full tuition Scholarship including living expenses (including deferred and compounded interest) approximately: $250k

Total Debt with current scholarship: $290k

My thought is that financially, Fordham is not a great contender.

exitoptions
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby exitoptions » Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:56 pm

Matt_the_meche wrote:I will also be able to keep my living expenses low because I share an apartment with my girlfriend and my parents are willing to help me with some expenses when I go to school.

At Cardozo: Total debt with full tuition Scholarship including living expenses (including deferred and compounded interest) approximately: $250k

Total Debt with current scholarship: $290k

My thought is that financially, Fordham is not a great contender.


$250k is HUGE. The interest payments alone on that will be around $1,500 a month. That's pretty solidly in the range of IBR + Tax bomb results. So you're locked into a 25 year plan with a tax bomb at the end. You gotta live your life as you see fit, I suppose.

Matt_the_meche
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby Matt_the_meche » Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:06 pm

At 7% interest, monthly interest payments would be $1500 per month plus a little bit for principle. Obviously, it is a big risk and is dependent on my ability to find a high paying enough job to support those payments while living inexpensively.

If I maintain my scholarship and make it through, I've been told by multiple people that work in the field in NYC that I should be able to get a job at a medium to large firm with the starting usual salary. With that salary, I think I will definitely be able to make my payments, etc.

Username123
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby Username123 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:16 pm

Matt_the_meche wrote:At 7% interest, monthly interest payments would be $1500 per month plus a little bit for principle. Obviously, it is a big risk and is dependent on my ability to find a high paying enough job to support those payments while living inexpensively.

If I maintain my scholarship and make it through, I've been told by multiple people that work in the field in NYC that I should be able to get a job at a medium to large firm with the starting usual salary. With that salary, I think I will definitely be able to make my payments, etc.


The problem with your statement is that what these multiple people have told you is not supported by the factual data. In the class of 2013, less than 15% of the graduating class landed jobs that you are talking about (source: http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/cardozo/2013/).

Please don't dive into a quarter of a million $ debt-load without seriously considering your life ten years from now. Attending Cardozo for free with aspirations of working in NYC, especially with your academic credentials isn't a bad option (there are much better options, but this one would suffice). But with the already existing 150k debt in student loans you have, this is financial suicide. Way too much risk for the potential reward.

You say you don't like your engineering job... do you know what working in NYC biglaw? Yeah, you'd be bringing in a bunch more money, but with the debt you'd accumulate, you'd probably profit the same as you do now, while in a career that is extremely difficult.

Matt_the_meche
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby Matt_the_meche » Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:36 pm

I've talked with multiple bigLaw attorneys including recent graduates, senior associates and partners. I've also talked with attorneys who worked in BigLaw and subsequently went in house and attorneys who worked in BigLaw and then started their own firm. I think I have a good grasp on what the major responsibilities of associates and what the lifestyle is like.

I see your point that in the beginning I would profit comparably to being an engineer with the current debt I have but the potential earnings for IP litigators are much, much higher than those of an engineer. In addition, I don't enjoy being an engineer and have considered becoming a lawyer for a few years now. Also, the future path towards a more lucrative engineering job by moving into more of the business side is not enticing either. On the other hand, through my research I have become even more sure that I will love being a lawyer.

doc b
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby doc b » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:02 pm

How about a job now at a law firm as a patent advisor? Go Fordham or Cardozo part time? - or next year

Matt_the_meche
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby Matt_the_meche » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:09 pm

That is definitely an option. I am still deliberating depending on the scholarships I received whether I should wait till next year. If I choose to wait, I will most likely find something related to do in the city and then take it from there.

Matt_the_meche
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby Matt_the_meche » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:10 pm

One of my concerns with doing that is the salary. I don't know if I can't afford to take a pay cut if I do transfer to a patent related job in nyc.

exitoptions
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby exitoptions » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:13 pm

Matt_the_meche wrote:One of my concerns with doing that is the salary. I don't know if I can't afford to take a pay cut if I do transfer to a patent related job in nyc.


There's a disconnect somewhere here... You say you can't afford to take a pay cut, but you can afford to quit your job, take on additional debt, and maybe get a law job that pays the same or less?
Last edited by exitoptions on Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby BigZuck » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:13 pm

In a best case scenario, you become this guy: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=241821

I'm sure he'd be the first to tell you that this is not a good plan.

Even if you win you lose.

There is a really high probability that you will lose, and then you lose big.

Don't do it.

Get a job.

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deadpanic
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby deadpanic » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:15 pm

Matt_the_meche wrote:I've talked with multiple bigLaw attorneys including recent graduates, senior associates and partners. I've also talked with attorneys who worked in BigLaw and subsequently went in house and attorneys who worked in BigLaw and then started their own firm. I think I have a good grasp on what the major responsibilities of associates and what the lifestyle is like.

I see your point that in the beginning I would profit comparably to being an engineer with the current debt I have but the potential earnings for IP litigators are much, much higher than those of an engineer. In addition, I don't enjoy being an engineer and have considered becoming a lawyer for a few years now. Also, the future path towards a more lucrative engineering job by moving into more of the business side is not enticing either. On the other hand, through my research I have become even more sure that I will love being a lawyer.


This is assuming you even get a job at a BigLaw firm, and your odds out of Cardozo are about 12-14%. Even if you get a BigLaw gig, which is highly unlikely, you simply cannot pay back that debt. There is no winning scenario here.

If you didn't have the 150k in undergrad debt already, maybe I could endorse Cardozo at zero tuition (though still prob. not for living expenses alone and bad job prospects), but you cannot afford to do this. The 150k in undergrad has completely limited you to taking on any more debt. Don't have your GF sign on your loans or you will ruin her life financially as well. You will never be able to buy a house/condo, or really any somewhat big-ticket item that requires credit with 290k in student loan debt. They simply will not extend it to you because you are going to default on everything and you cannot even file a bankruptcy that would benefit you. This is not hyperbole.

exitoptions
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Re: Cardozo v Fordham

Postby exitoptions » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:18 pm

One more point and then I'll leave you to your delusion -- assuming you aren't paying the current debt while you are in school (I don't see how you possibly could), have you calculated the juice on $150k for three years with zero payments?




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