Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

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

Berk or Columbia?

Berkeley
13
38%
Columbia
21
62%
 
Total votes: 34

Butter
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby Butter » Tue May 05, 2015 12:45 am

BiglawAssociate wrote:
transferror wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:
LOL at taking on this much debt for PI. Doesn't OP know PI has tons of trust fund kids and people with full schollies? They aint "suffering" like OP will be.

I wish 0Ls who don't manage their own fucking money would STFU about debt loads for PI.

Taking on 200k+ debt for PI is stupid as shit IMO. Just watch that debt grow to like 600k in that 10 year period and hope that you actually keep your PI job for 10 years...and that the government/your school doesn't fuck you over by changing the programs on you. LOLOLOL.


Can someone explain to me how the latter part could be true? Even if they change the program, wouldn't that not affect me as the PI student? Is there not a contract that guarentees my payment program? aren't I immune from any changes and I'd be grandfathered in if anything?

Big Law is not the only path in law. Perhaps be a bit more respectful.


There has been buzz and bipartisan proposed legislation to cap PSLF, so ppl are worried that the program will be dramatically altered in a negative way or wiped out altogether at some point. It's all speculation and there's no way to know what will happen or if ppl will be grandfathered in.

owever, some schools have an LRAP that's not tied to the IBR/PSLF programs (mostly the top schools), and it's highly unlikely IMO that the schools would screw the students over even if Congress screws up the PSLF program. The downside is just so astronomical that some ppl freak out and advise against large debt for PI, even at top schools with independent LRAPs


Yep to the above. I want to add that law schools are basically all for profit. We don't know whether they will change their programs because they can't afford not to (given the ridiculous amounts they are paying for faculty, etc.). Some of the law schools have shitty endowments (like Berkeley) and now that law schools have to hand out massive scholarships to get okay applicants to matriculate, who knows what financial situation they will be in in the next 10 years.

As for the post about me being "respectful" - it's not about that. It's about not being a complete moron with money. But you know what? I don't really give a shit. If you want blow 200k on a degree (which will probably increase to at least 6-700k within 10 years of not paying down interest under LRAP) where you will get paid 50k a year in NYC (if you can even land such a job in the first place) and be barely able to survive, then go ahead.


Governments, business, and individuals (many of them lawyers) default on financial obligations all the time. To suggest that this could happen to an elite law school is, if unlikely, far from ludicrous. Remember that laws schools and their parent universities have their endowments invested in other assets. While their portfolios are undoubtedly diversified, a sufficient drop in asset prices (a stock market crash, for instance) coupled with an increasing financial strain from scholarships and LRAP could render the school insolvent. This sort of uncertainty in the future is just one of many reasons why TLS usually places such an emphasis on minimizing debt.

Debt, while seemingly innocuous to the naive 0L, is no laughing matter.

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cron1834
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby cron1834 » Tue May 05, 2015 9:44 am

OP seems stubbornly resistant to reason. While I would never trust such a person, OPs gonna OP; if you're choosing between two cars you can't possibly afford, and if you're intentionally ignoring any reasonable option, just get whichever you think is shiniest.

AwesomeLawyer
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby AwesomeLawyer » Tue May 05, 2015 11:42 am

"Like I said on page 1 of this thread, summers and extenships allow you to work with 3 NYC employers from Boalt if you want, and that's not counting split summers. Of course it's logistically easier to do this from CLS, but I simply pointed out that you can pull it off from Boalt if you want to or need to for budgetary reasons (BTW, not sure the flights make or break your budget given the difference in overall costs we're talking about)"

I actually included two round trip flights to NY per year in the 150K total budget for Berkeley. But if I spend my last year at Harvard or maybe another East Coast school (I know NYU allows 3L students to take classes there for personal reasons, I think Berkeley should allow it. Rent in NYC will be practically free for me) it will be less.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby jbagelboy » Tue May 05, 2015 11:43 am

AwesomeLawyer wrote:"Like I said on page 1 of this thread, summers and extenships allow you to work with 3 NYC employers from Boalt if you want, and that's not counting split summers. Of course it's logistically easier to do this from CLS, but I simply pointed out that you can pull it off from Boalt if you want to or need to for budgetary reasons (BTW, not sure the flights make or break your budget given the difference in overall costs we're talking about)"

I actually included two round trip flights to NY per year in the 150K total budget for Berkeley. But if I spend my last year at Harvard or maybe another East Coast school (I know NYU allows 3L students to take classes there for personal reasons, I think Berkeley should allow it. Rent in NYC will be practically free for me) it will be less.


why so committed to Berk? if rent in NYC i practically free, go to CLS

Columbia's LRAP is pretty unbeatable right now

AwesomeLawyer
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby AwesomeLawyer » Tue May 05, 2015 12:12 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
AwesomeLawyer wrote:"Like I said on page 1 of this thread, summers and extenships allow you to work with 3 NYC employers from Boalt if you want, and that's not counting split summers. Of course it's logistically easier to do this from CLS, but I simply pointed out that you can pull it off from Boalt if you want to or need to for budgetary reasons (BTW, not sure the flights make or break your budget given the difference in overall costs we're talking about)"

I actually included two round trip flights to NY per year in the 150K total budget for Berkeley. But if I spend my last year at Harvard or maybe another East Coast school (I know NYU allows 3L students to take classes there for personal reasons, I think Berkeley should allow it. Rent in NYC will be practically free for me) it will be less.


why so committed to Berk? if rent in NYC i practically free, go to CLS

Columbia's LRAP is pretty unbeatable right now


Rent is the only thing that will be practically free at CLS. Berkeley's tuition is lower, they are giving me 22K grant a year, which is likely to increase, and after my second year I get an in state tuition. Columbia's tuition is higher and it does not look like I am getting anything out of them. If the money was equal or at least close, I would choose CLS without a second though. Their LRAP is really better though, actually, one of the best.

krads153
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby krads153 » Tue May 05, 2015 2:21 pm

cron1834 wrote:OP seems stubbornly resistant to reason. While I would never trust such a person, OPs gonna OP; if you're choosing between two cars you can't possibly afford, and if you're intentionally ignoring any reasonable option, just get whichever you think is shiniest.


Yeah, I guess everyone has to learn on their own. It's a very expensive lesson, but whatever.

The only people advocating paying these prices are 0Ls or law students/grads who likely went/are going to said schools. I think both are too expensive. If I had to pick, I guess I'd pick Columbia since you want to be in NYC and PI is mainly about networking/connections.

AwesomeLawyer
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby AwesomeLawyer » Tue May 05, 2015 3:38 pm

krads153 wrote:
cron1834 wrote:OP seems stubbornly resistant to reason. While I would never trust such a person, OPs gonna OP; if you're choosing between two cars you can't possibly afford, and if you're intentionally ignoring any reasonable option, just get whichever you think is shiniest.


Yeah, I guess everyone has to learn on their own. It's a very expensive lesson, but whatever.

The only people advocating paying these prices are 0Ls or law students/grads who likely went/are going to said schools. I think both are too expensive. If I had to pick, I guess I'd pick Columbia since you want to be in NYC and PI is mainly about networking/connections.


I am stubborn! Aren't all of us future/current lawyers to some degree? :) But am I completely unreasonable? I mean, I want to be a lawyer and work in PI. I have had experience in several legal PI fields, did well, and know it's for me. If I am lucky, I will get a prestigious, interesting, and well paid PI job (which only top schools can make possible), if not, I know what my alternatives are and I will still be happy with them. I will not be getting substantially more with my current degree and I will have no movement prospects without an advance degree. So, in my situation, is it better to go to CUNY for free, as some suggested, or to go, let's say, to Berkeley for $150 (or a bit less) with an LRAP program that is almost as good as free? I think, the second option is better.

And people are right that it is somewhat risky to hope that the LRAPs will not get substantially changed/cancelled. But on the other hand, many things can happen. It is better to be financially secure and prepared for anything, but sometimes you have to take some risks if you want to succeed. I came to this country by myself with a couple of hundred dollars in my pocket with no real job, education, or family to help me. I could be cleaning people's houses or sold into slavery or something (granted, really worst case scenario), but I did much better than that :) I got lucky in some sense, but I was also determined and worked very hard.

I appreciate all your responses though. So far, it seems like the consensus is something like "you might actually know what you are doing, so go for it, or (more likely) you are absolutely insane, but Columbia is a better option out of the two."

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TasmanianToucan
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby TasmanianToucan » Tue May 05, 2015 4:09 pm

IF you insist on going with your options this cycle and IF you are willing to gamble that LRAP will be available for you (because you qualify and it still exists), then it depends on what side of the country you want to end up on. If you really, truly don't care (hard to believe; NY and Cali are very different places), I suppose Berk has the edge in PI.

Personally, that much debt gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it.

AwesomeLawyer
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby AwesomeLawyer » Tue May 05, 2015 4:43 pm

TasmanianToucan wrote:IF you insist on going with your options this cycle and IF you are willing to gamble that LRAP will be available for you (because you qualify and it still exists), then it depends on what side of the country you want to end up on. If you really, truly don't care (hard to believe; NY and Cali are very different places), I suppose Berk has the edge in PI.

Personally, that much debt gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it.


No, I do prefer to stay in NYC. In terms of heart palpitations - I get it. If you had to take on loans, what is the maximum amount of debt do you think would be worth it to take for those schools?

People say a good estimate is your first year salary. If it's biglaw, it's around 160K, so around 150K of loans actually makes sense. However, if it's PI, you will be looking at something like 54K, at least from the start, which means that you have to have free tuition and someone would also have to pay for some of your living expenses in order to graduate with 54K loans in total. Waiting yet another cycle, unfortunately, will not get me free tuition at the schools I want to go to.

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TasmanianToucan
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby TasmanianToucan » Tue May 05, 2015 5:03 pm

Hypothetical scenarios are tough because of the number of variables involved. For example, if you were certain that you would be able to get a biglaw job, stay in that job for a number of years, and not completely hate your life, attending law school at sticker is a reasonable option. Similarly, if you somehow were able to be certain that you could get a good PI job (probably a tougher thing to find than biglaw) and that LRAP would still be around, why not attend at sticker and have the taxpayers write off your debt, right?

The problem is that there is a lot of uncertainty in the process; none of what I took for granted above can actually be assumed. So we try to mitigate the risk by adjusting the amount of debt we are willing to take. The problem is that there is no right answer. It depends on your appetite for risk and evaluation of the probability of various outcomes.

I'm not sure how much debt I could tolerate for those schools if I had your goals. It requires more than a few minutes of thought. Let me put it this way- I want to pursue PI as well, but I am not single and my spouse makes money, which means LRAP is out the window at most schools, so the picture is... complicated. Six figures would probably be out of the question, however.

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transferror
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby transferror » Tue May 05, 2015 5:29 pm

I understand all the debt aversion and I think it's justified almost all of the time, but this OP is different. The hive is skeptical of the typical K-JD who wants to save the world and work in international human rights (whatever that is) and blah blah blah b/c a dime a dozen get caught up in OCI and end up heading off to biglaw. And for others, what if they won't last in PI? Can they make it ten years? There's normally too much uncertainty to risk such large debt.

But this OP has 4 years of PI experience, time abroad, language skills, has worked for a gov agency in NY, has a good working knowledge of the school's LRAP programs, and is in at CLS (with one of the best LRAPs available). If OP can't go for PI on the hope of PSLF/LRAP, then who can?

The logical extreme here is that no one should ever rely on LRAP because *fear-mongering* *speculation*

It's more likely that OP graduates unemployed from CLS and can't find a job than it is that CLS goes broke AND Congress repeals PSLF in the next 13 years. Seriously.

And I'm not saying everyone should take on tons of debt b/c LRAP. Only a small contingent of students who are certain about PI should be in this situation, but I think OP is one of them.

tskela
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby tskela » Tue May 05, 2015 5:32 pm

I don't really have advice for OP, but did have a general/slightly related question reading y'all's replies and didn't want to make a new thread. How do you all calculate total COA? For example, the law school tuition spreadsheet floating around here estimates Duke's cost of living to be $19,928.00. I'm finishing up undergrad in Chapel Hill, about a 20 minute drive away from Duke (maybe 30 minutes on a bus). I live in a 4-bedroom house with three other girls and pay $400 for rent and $50-75 for utilities each month. This is under $5,700 a year. How in the world does this number get multiplied by 3.5 for the spreadsheet's predicted cost of living? There's no way food and incidentals are going to equal over $14,000 extra a year. Where do these numbers come from?

Edited to add my rent isn't exceptionally cheap for this area either. Most of my friends in the area are paying around $300-500 a month on rent.

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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby krads153 » Tue May 05, 2015 5:42 pm

tskela wrote:I don't really have advice for OP, but did have a general/slightly related question reading y'all's replies and didn't want to make a new thread. How do you all calculate total COA? For example, the law school tuition spreadsheet floating around here estimates Duke's cost of living to be $19,928.00. I'm finishing up undergrad in Chapel Hill, about a 20 minute drive away from Duke (maybe 30 minutes on a bus). I live in a 4-bedroom house with three other girls and pay $400 for rent and $50-75 for utilities each month. This is under $5,700 a year. How in the world does this number get multiplied by 3.5 for the spreadsheet's predicted cost of living? There's no way food and incidentals are going to equal over $14,000 extra a year. Where do these numbers come from?


Someone else can confirm, but I assume from the law school's website. It looks like there's a ton of other school fees, loan origination fees, health insurance costs, etc.

https://law.duke.edu/admis/tuition/

Here's Duke's costs:

Law School Budget for 2015-2016 Academic Year
Tuition: $56,500
Other costs, including COL, other school fees, etc.: $24,437
TOTAL $80,937

Law School Budget for 2015-2016 Academic Year - JD/LLM
Tuition: $65,916
Other costs, including COL, other school fees, etc.: $24,437
TOTAL: $90,353

Duke's only estimating $8,415 for rent & utilities a year.

Also just lol at these costs
Last edited by krads153 on Tue May 05, 2015 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tskela
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby tskela » Tue May 05, 2015 5:47 pm

krads153 wrote:
tskela wrote:I don't really have advice for OP, but did have a general/slightly related question reading y'all's replies and didn't want to make a new thread. How do you all calculate total COA? For example, the law school tuition spreadsheet floating around here estimates Duke's cost of living to be $19,928.00. I'm finishing up undergrad in Chapel Hill, about a 20 minute drive away from Duke (maybe 30 minutes on a bus). I live in a 4-bedroom house with three other girls and pay $400 for rent and $50-75 for utilities each month. This is under $5,700 a year. How in the world does this number get multiplied by 3.5 for the spreadsheet's predicted cost of living? There's no way food and incidentals are going to equal over $14,000 extra a year. Where do these numbers come from?


Someone else can confirm, but I assume from the law school's website.

https://law.duke.edu/admis/tuition/

Here's Duke's costs:

Law School Budget for 2015-2016 Academic Year
Tuition: $56,500
Other costs, including COL, other school fees, etc.: $24,437
TOTAL $80,937

Law School Budget for 2015-2016 Academic Year - JD/LLM
Tuition: $65,916
Other costs, including COL, other school fees, etc.: $24,437
TOTAL: $90,353

Duke's only estimating $8,415 for rent & utilities a year.

Also just lol at these costs


Yeah...the COL just seems like an extremely high estimate to me. Almost triple my actual COL in Chapel Hill, which has been completely doable as a junior working part time and taking 15 hours of credit. Durham isn't more expensive than Chapel Hill either.

krads153
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby krads153 » Tue May 05, 2015 5:48 pm

tskela wrote:
krads153 wrote:
tskela wrote:I don't really have advice for OP, but did have a general/slightly related question reading y'all's replies and didn't want to make a new thread. How do you all calculate total COA? For example, the law school tuition spreadsheet floating around here estimates Duke's cost of living to be $19,928.00. I'm finishing up undergrad in Chapel Hill, about a 20 minute drive away from Duke (maybe 30 minutes on a bus). I live in a 4-bedroom house with three other girls and pay $400 for rent and $50-75 for utilities each month. This is under $5,700 a year. How in the world does this number get multiplied by 3.5 for the spreadsheet's predicted cost of living? There's no way food and incidentals are going to equal over $14,000 extra a year. Where do these numbers come from?


Someone else can confirm, but I assume from the law school's website.

https://law.duke.edu/admis/tuition/

Here's Duke's costs:

Law School Budget for 2015-2016 Academic Year
Tuition: $56,500
Other costs, including COL, other school fees, etc.: $24,437
TOTAL $80,937

Law School Budget for 2015-2016 Academic Year - JD/LLM
Tuition: $65,916
Other costs, including COL, other school fees, etc.: $24,437
TOTAL: $90,353

Duke's only estimating $8,415 for rent & utilities a year.

Also just lol at these costs


Yeah...the COL just seems like an extremely high estimate to me. Almost triple my actual COL in Chapel Hill, which has been completely doable as a junior working part time and taking 15 hours of credit. Durham isn't more expensive than Chapel Hill either.


I don't know 8k doesn't seem like that much more than 5k...also a lot of people don't want to split a house with 3/4 other people when they are in grad school.

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bretby
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby bretby » Tue May 05, 2015 6:27 pm

transferror wrote:I understand all the debt aversion and I think it's justified almost all of the time, but this OP is different. The hive is skeptical of the typical K-JD who wants to save the world and work in international human rights (whatever that is) and blah blah blah b/c a dime a dozen get caught up in OCI and end up heading off to biglaw. And for others, what if they won't last in PI? Can they make it ten years? There's normally too much uncertainty to risk such large debt.

But this OP has 4 years of PI experience, time abroad, language skills, has worked for a gov agency in NY, has a good working knowledge of the school's LRAP programs, and is in at CLS (with one of the best LRAPs available). If OP can't go for PI on the hope of PSLF/LRAP, then who can?

The logical extreme here is that no one should ever rely on LRAP because *fear-mongering* *speculation*

It's more likely that OP graduates unemployed from CLS and can't find a job than it is that CLS goes broke AND Congress repeals PSLF in the next 13 years. Seriously.

And I'm not saying everyone should take on tons of debt b/c LRAP. Only a small contingent of students who are certain about PI should be in this situation, but I think OP is one of them.


In my mind, the real risk is that people don't fully appreciate the 10 year requirement of LRAP. Particularly the risk that marriage renders a person LRAP ineligible because combined income lifts the couple over the threshold.

Plus, only in the rarest cases does LRAP cover the full amount of the loans. Here's some scenarios HLS put together that I think are very helpful: http://hls.harvard.edu/dept/sfs/low-inc ... scenarios/

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby BiglawAssociate » Tue May 05, 2015 8:25 pm

bretby wrote:
transferror wrote:I understand all the debt aversion and I think it's justified almost all of the time, but this OP is different. The hive is skeptical of the typical K-JD who wants to save the world and work in international human rights (whatever that is) and blah blah blah b/c a dime a dozen get caught up in OCI and end up heading off to biglaw. And for others, what if they won't last in PI? Can they make it ten years? There's normally too much uncertainty to risk such large debt.

But this OP has 4 years of PI experience, time abroad, language skills, has worked for a gov agency in NY, has a good working knowledge of the school's LRAP programs, and is in at CLS (with one of the best LRAPs available). If OP can't go for PI on the hope of PSLF/LRAP, then who can?

The logical extreme here is that no one should ever rely on LRAP because *fear-mongering* *speculation*

It's more likely that OP graduates unemployed from CLS and can't find a job than it is that CLS goes broke AND Congress repeals PSLF in the next 13 years. Seriously.

And I'm not saying everyone should take on tons of debt b/c LRAP. Only a small contingent of students who are certain about PI should be in this situation, but I think OP is one of them.


In my mind, the real risk is that people don't fully appreciate the 10 year requirement of LRAP. Particularly the risk that marriage renders a person LRAP ineligible because combined income lifts the couple over the threshold.

Plus, only in the rarest cases does LRAP cover the full amount of the loans. Here's some scenarios HLS put together that I think are very helpful: http://hls.harvard.edu/dept/sfs/low-inc ... scenarios/


Using an average debt amount of 120k? LOL That's less than half the debt of what OP will take out

TOLD YOU GUYS LAW SCHOOL IS FULL OF RICH KIDS

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby BiglawAssociate » Tue May 05, 2015 8:33 pm

Tanicius wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:People in PI with heavy debt loans generally don't have to worry about mortgages though - I doubt they could afford the downpayment to get a mortgage in the first place.


I think you're just trying to rile people up. I'll have a down payment on a house ready in 3-4 years. If my equal-income SO wasn't going back to school this year we'd probably have it together after just two.


Where do you live? You can't buy shit in NYC or Bay Area, LA, SD, etc., California without a couple/few hundred thousand DP.


Yes, because my biglaw associate classmates are buying houses in SF and NYC as they please. You don't live in those areas expecting to buy a house unless you're literally a millionaire in this day and age. Almost any other city and you can purchase a house with a salary of 50k (though I'd add Boston and DC to your list).


TBF, my biglaw associate friends have been buying 1mm+ condos/coops....they are usually more senior though and have saved up some money. And the junior ones have super rich parents (richer than biglaw partners).

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Glasseyes
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby Glasseyes » Wed May 06, 2015 12:44 am

not sure if anyone mentioned it, but make sure you know the details of the LRAP programs you're applying for and hanging your future on. if you lose your job after at some point within those 10 years, you may no longer be eligible for LRAP. presumably both Berk and CLS have magical and fantastical LRAPs that would never break your heart or leave you bleeding in a gutter, but i've heard horror stories of folks getting laid off at 9 years and having to repay everything they had been given, then no longer eligible for federal loan forgiveness because they're no longer doing PI (because they're funemeployed). account for the worst case scenario, then proceed. good luck.

(i'd try for more money, but that's just me)

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transferror
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby transferror » Wed May 06, 2015 1:04 am

Glasseyes wrote:not sure if anyone mentioned it, but make sure you know the details of the LRAP programs you're applying for and hanging your future on. if you lose your job after at some point within those 10 years, you may no longer be eligible for LRAP. presumably both Berk and CLS have magical and fantastical LRAPs that would never break your heart or leave you bleeding in a gutter, but i've heard horror stories of folks getting laid off at 9 years and having to repay everything they had been given, then no longer eligible for federal loan forgiveness because they're no longer doing PI (because they're funemeployed). account for the worst case scenario, then proceed. good luck.

(i'd try for more money, but that's just me)


Regardless of LRAP specifics, PSLF only requires 120 payments. They don't have to be consecutive, so laid off at year 9 doesn't just end it all. You must be talking about really old pre-PSLF LRAPs or something else w/r/t people laid off at year 9 and having to repay, b/c PSLF has only been in existence since 2007. No one has actually yet had their debt forgiven under the program. I also imagine that most LRAPs are recent developments sparked by PSLF, but I'm not sure.

Can you provide examples of these horror stories and what schools were involved?

**obligatory echo that I don't endorse most people going into 6 figures of debt for PI

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed May 06, 2015 9:13 am

Given that PSLF was invented in 2007 I'm guessing there aren't too many people who got laid off after 9 years and suddenly were unable to take advantage of PSLF after having counted on it that whole time. Not to mention that you could just go work at a public school for a year (among dozens of other random kinds of employment) to get those last 12 payments. As for LRAPs I don't know the details of Berkeley's program but at CLS you don't have to pay anything back once you've been in PI for 5 years.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby BiglawAssociate » Wed May 06, 2015 9:29 am

It's probably more likely that PSLF will be capped to 57k or whatever the Democrats want to do rather than completely repealed - so that covers what, one year tuition only at a law school? :lol:

AwesomeLawyer
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby AwesomeLawyer » Thu May 07, 2015 10:35 am

transferror wrote:
Glasseyes wrote:not sure if anyone mentioned it, but make sure you know the details of the LRAP programs you're applying for and hanging your future on. if you lose your job after at some point within those 10 years, you may no longer be eligible for LRAP. presumably both Berk and CLS have magical and fantastical LRAPs that would never break your heart or leave you bleeding in a gutter, but i've heard horror stories of folks getting laid off at 9 years and having to repay everything they had been given, then no longer eligible for federal loan forgiveness because they're no longer doing PI (because they're funemeployed). account for the worst case scenario, then proceed. good luck.

(i'd try for more money, but that's just me)


Regardless of LRAP specifics, PSLF only requires 120 payments. They don't have to be consecutive, so laid off at year 9 doesn't just end it all. You must be talking about really old pre-PSLF LRAPs or something else w/r/t people laid off at year 9 and having to repay, b/c PSLF has only been in existence since 2007. No one has actually yet had their debt forgiven under the program. I also imagine that most LRAPs are recent developments sparked by PSLF, but I'm not sure.

Can you provide examples of these horror stories and what schools were involved?

**obligatory echo that I don't endorse most people going into 6 figures of debt for PI


True, PSLF is not consecutive, you can leave and go back (although that might not be the ideal situation). Berkeley's LRAP works the same way, does not require you to pay anything back ever. Columbia's program does not require you to repay anything after 5 years, below that it's a certain percentage.

There is a thread somewhere in this forum where people post their actual debt and the way they are repaying it. Overall, those who are on LRAPs seem to be doing fine (although, I am sure, there is a certain amount of self selection involved in these posts). The horror stories tend to come from cases where the person didn't know that LRAP was available and lost a few years or didn't know how it worked, etc.

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Ohiobumpkin
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby Ohiobumpkin » Thu May 07, 2015 10:58 am

AwesomeLawyer wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:The primary benefit of this thread should be that OP now knows the options & the consequences. It is doubtful that anyone is going to recommend taking on $200,000 of student loan debt even though both law schools are outstanding. Debt affects almost every aspect of one's life. And, to be clear, your options are not limited to either Columbia or Berkeley.


Options and consequences! That's what I am here for! :)

Of course, having debt is no picnic and it's better not to have it at all. I come from a generally debt averse country, so it was shocking for me how Americans could take on a 300-500k mortgages for 30 years. And all these property taxes!!!! Keep you chained to one place!!! That IS slavery! But now I understand that it actually can be a smart decision for many people. So can a good quality education in a field you actually see yourself working, even though you cannot resell it or declare bankrupcy.


This is exactly why your mortgage comparison is totally off. Having $200k plus in student loans for a career in PI is not wise. My question for OP is what does a JD (and presumably a law license) allow you to do that you cannot do now working in PI without a law degree? There are TONS of people who work in PI without a law degree, and even in the fields in which you stated you were interested in. So, I think you really need to think about whether a JD is even necessary for your career goals.

As to which one to attend, meh, Columbia. It ranks higher according to USNWR thank Berkeley, so must be worth it.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Berkeley v Columbia. Please help!

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu May 07, 2015 11:31 am

OP: add "Neither" to your poll and see what happens.
Very likely that option will win.




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