Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

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Outis Onoma
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby Outis Onoma » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:16 pm

Don't go to Denver. There is no "good" outcome coming from DU. You only have a 50% shot of getting a legal job coming out of the school. And even if you do get one, you're not going to be able to pay off your debt.


The Denver market may be growing, but firms want experienced oil and gas attorneys. [edit: at least, that was the case a few years ago] Furthermore, Denver entry level hiring is not growing. Denver firms have the pick of any experienced lateral attorney they want, all of whom are willing to take a pay cut to live in Denver.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby ndirish2010 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:23 pm

Seriously, what is wrong with people? OP, you're obviously really smart (I would have died a year through a neuroscience major), so just take a second and think about your situation. You have a job. And if you go to one of these schools, there's a real good chance you won't have one in three years AND you'll have six figures of nondischargable debt. Just don't.

pancakes
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby pancakes » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:30 pm

usn26 wrote:
Toucan, he's already made the decision to jump off the cliff, he's just trying to choose whether he wants to go head first or feet first. BE SUPPORTIVE AND HELPFUL OMG.


He is actually a she. The hard truth is no matter where I go I'll have a significant number in loans just to cover the cost of living. I don't really see a free law school in my future.

Outis Onoma
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby Outis Onoma » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:34 pm

OK, if you're content with never being able to pay off your debt, I guess go big. Go with UC Davis and hope congress doesn't cut PAYE

NorCalLaw
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby NorCalLaw » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:40 pm

TasmanianToucan wrote:93 thousand dollars is a hell of a lot of money to pay for a coin flip's chance of becoming a practicing attorney. 146 is even worse for UC Davis.

Why do this to yourself when you have a paying job? The only thing another year will cost you is another year. Be smart.


Precisely this. OP, I also thought I was set on going to law school in a particular year, but ended up listening to some pretty smart people who suggested retaking. I improved my score and greatly reduced my overall debt load. At the time, I had a shitty job and hated the idea of sticking around. OP, you're in the perfect position: you aren't reliant on starting school. You already have a job. Take your time and go when it makes sense for you! It's a buyer's market, and you could easily position yourself to get full-rides with even 5 more points on the LSAT. Even 2 more points would look great. You MUST retake!

NorCalLaw
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby NorCalLaw » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:40 pm

NorCalLaw wrote:
TasmanianToucan wrote:93 thousand dollars is a hell of a lot of money to pay for a coin flip's chance of becoming a practicing attorney. 146 is even worse for UC Davis.

Why do this to yourself when you have a paying job? The only thing another year will cost you is another year. Be smart.


Precisely this. OP, I also thought I was set on going to law school in a particular year, but ended up listening to some pretty smart people who suggested retaking. I improved my score and greatly reduced my overall debt load. At the time, I had a shitty job and hated the idea of sticking around. OP, you're in the perfect position: you aren't reliant on starting school. You already have a job. Take your time and go when it makes sense for you! It's a buyer's market, and you could easily position yourself to get near-full rides with even 5 more points on the LSAT. Even 2 more points would look great. You MUST retake!

Don't fool yourself into believing you'll glide through into an excellent job at a school that only places 50% of its students in the legal career. You need more than a coin-flip's shot with a $100k++ albatross around your neck.

pancakes
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby pancakes » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:45 pm

I came out of undergrad with no loans thanks to scholarships so that helps, but I'll need take them out for cost of living. My guess is 18-20,000 for that alone. So then I'm left with tuition. Denver covers 70% and Davis roughly 35% my first year and 48% my last two. Debt is an inevitable future for me which is why I'm okay with the cost to attend this fall.

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xael
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby xael » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:49 pm

FullRamboLSGrad wrote:These are pretty large debt figures but aren't out of the park.

Denver will place you into small law with a small chance at big law in Denver/Colorado, at least initially. Some of the mid firms in Denver (think like 10-50 attorneys) use a lot of Denver grads.

UC Davis is the better school, it will open more doors, but you will be competing in a state with over 50 law schools in a crowded area that also features:

UC Berkeley, Stanford, Pacific McGeorge and who knows how many non-ABA schools.

It really comes down to what you want, Denver if you're okay with what I wrote above, noting that Denver is growing rapidly and is a very desirable place to live.


Did no one else notice this.

NorCalLaw
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby NorCalLaw » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:54 pm

pancakes wrote:I came out of undergrad with no loans thanks to scholarships so that helps, but I'll need take them out for cost of living. My guess is 18-20,000 for that alone. So then I'm left with tuition. Denver covers 70% and Davis roughly 35% my first year and 48% my last two. Debt is an inevitable future for me which is why I'm okay with the cost to attend this fall.


Some debt is inevitable. The thing is, $50,000 in loans is not a huge deal. You can pay that down in a few years. $100k is life-changing. $150k is potentially life-ending; you may never get into a position where you can pay them down faster than the interest is tacked on. As someone who just graduated, I know people with $200k in loans who are at the point that they don't even care about taking out more because they have abandoned hope of ever paying them off. Once you start looking into the monthly payment plans and the actual rate at which interest accumulates, you realize that this isn't really a debt vs. no debt scenario; it's an every dollar of loans counts scenario. The difficulty in dealing with the debt increases exponentially with the amount of debt, and once you're above $100k or so, the only satisfactory outcomes are biglaw or gov't career forgiveness, both of which are very unlikely outcomes at the schools you are looking at.

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usn26
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby usn26 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:23 pm

pancakes wrote:
usn26 wrote:
Toucan, he's already made the decision to jump off the cliff, he's just trying to choose whether he wants to go head first or feet first. BE SUPPORTIVE AND HELPFUL OMG.


He is actually a she. The hard truth is no matter where I go I'll have a significant number in loans just to cover the cost of living. I don't really see a free law school in my future.


Apologies.

Seriously, though, I almost did the same thing you're doing now, and that would have been stupid, and my law school options were "better" (-ish, replace UD and Davis w/ Pitt/UC Boulder/Notre Dame) and I didn't have the luxury of already being employed. Looking back now going to law school then would have been a DISASTER. I did not have an adequate understanding of the academic and employment context of the legal field (and since you're looking at these options you're clearly in that same boat), which would have put me at a disadvantage even beyond the veeeeeery dubious job prospects these types of schools offer in the first place. There's no shortage of people who go to these law schools and end up in very dire straights in terms of finding a job, there's no way to predict whether you'll be one of them, and even if you're not one of them the odds of you getting a job that can pay off that kind of debt is extremely low. It happens occasionally, which is why so many people pay so much money every year to buy a lotto ticket, but - just like the regular lotto - most will lose.

Read through these forums and you'll see so many examples of people who were in your shoes, sucked it up, and found themselves in a much better place. In my case, I had to choose between Georgetown, Cornell, and Northwestern, all with more financial aid than I received from the aforementioned schools. More than that, though, I made damn sure that I could actually accomplish my goals from these law schools - in a realistic scenario (i.e. being a middle of the pack student), not just in the perfect world we all think law school will be for us.

tl;dr: This plan is crazy, retake/reapply until you get decent options. These are not decent options.

artistar
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby artistar » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:27 pm

This advice section is as unsolicited as my great aunt's advice at thanksgiving.

artistar
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby artistar » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:34 pm

Even 2 more points would look great. You MUST retake!


You are stating that for OP to take an entire year off to study for a 2 point increase is worthwhile?!?

TLS has gone mad!

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ndirish2010
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby ndirish2010 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:46 pm

artistar wrote:
Even 2 more points would look great. You MUST retake!


You are stating that for OP to take an entire year off to study for a 2 point increase is worthwhile?!?

TLS has gone mad!


Of course it would be. She would be spending a year making money, and then have less debt in the future. How is that not worthwhile?

The bottom line is that only someone in complete denial of reality would choose between these two options when there exists a third, way better option of continuing to work and studying for the LSAT. It simply makes no rational sense.

futago
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby futago » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:16 pm

Don't DU scholarships have stips? Also, I have heard some good things about DU but nothing that makes it worth 90k. I would retake and try for CU Boulder or Denver at a better scholarship if you want Denver.

californiauser
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby californiauser » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:48 pm

Neither of the schools are good enough to take on significant debt for.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:53 pm

artistar wrote:Take all of this advice with a grain of salt.

You said you are fine with the debt and you don't want to wait another year to go to law school. Ok.

Why listen to advice that tells you to wait (when you don't want to) and is concerned about your finances (when you are not)? It is you who will have to spend the extra year studying and waiting, not the people giving the advice. If you want to go now, do it. Davis seems like the better opportunity. But you are correct that the California market is saturated, to put it mildly. And then there are those bar passage stats from Cali...


I doubt the CO bar is really easier than the CA bar. What is the percentage of passers from ABA schools?

I bet the average the average CO bar taker has an LSAT of 159 or 160. I wouldnt be surprised if the average CA bar taker's LSAT was 151.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:56 pm

californiauser wrote:Neither of the schools are good enough to take on significant debt for.


Retake or get DU to let you go for free. That will knock your debt down to 50k-75k depending on what you do during school.

Also what about DU part time a get a job?

Source- colorado attorney.

timbs4339
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:59 pm

The thing you need to understand is that it's not just debt- it's career prospects over a 40 year career.

The law, more than most professions, places a huge amount of emphasis on your first job coming out of law school. Huge, especially now with specialized areas like IP. So you want to go to a school that gives you the widest variety of options, not one where you are so desperate for employment that you accept the first paying lawyer job that comes along, even if it's a 40-50K small firm job doing family law or a job at the DA office with a similar salary. When you do that it becomes increasingly difficult to then go try and apply for IP jobs because there are hundreds or thousands of lawyers who started out in IP law who will always have an edge on you, just like you would have an edge on them if you were applying for jobs in family or criminal law.

Denver and Davis are schools where most people accept the first lawyer job that comes along. There are other schools where this is less true for less people. Generally when you have a specific interest it pays to go to one of those schools.

You need to channel that "focus" into studying for the LSAT. 10 points gets you lower T14 options which will open up a world of better career options. In the meantime, maybe apply to become a patent agent.

FirmBiz
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby FirmBiz » Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:51 pm

Try and get some more money out of Denver, if not I think Davis may actually be the better choice, although you may be taking on a good chunk of money just for that opportunity to get a better chance at big law, etc.

The fact that you are even considering Davis at this stage, knowing that will be the price, tells me that you would be okay with it, so maybe go there.

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TasmanianToucan
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby TasmanianToucan » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:06 pm

Ok, Ms. Pancakes, I'm gonna take one more crack at this because my fiancee is watching Bones and I would literally rather talk to a brick wall than do that.

Colorado is a small, insular legal market. They hire natives. People with connections. When that fails, they hire students from the best law school in CO. Is that Denver? No. It's UCB. The large firms take a small percentage of the Denver class to make up the difference. Want to know how much? 13%.

Do those odds sound good? No? Then don't do it.

UC Davis is even worse given the numbers

Take another year. Study. Do not fall into the trap of believing that just because you will have to take some debt that the amount of debt doesn't matter. It matters a lot.

If you want to roll the dice on breaking into the CO market, then do it on the best possible terms. UCB for free, which you can probably get for another couple of points on the LSAT.

NorCalLaw
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Re: Denver vs UC Davis - help, must decide by 6/15!

Postby NorCalLaw » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:55 pm

artistar wrote:
Even 2 more points would look great. You MUST retake!


You are stating that for OP to take an entire year off to study for a 2 point increase is worthwhile?!?

TLS has gone mad!


It's not like that year is somehow wasted. She'll have more career experience and life experience, a fresh set of applications, and a better lsat score (at 159, I'm pretty sure additional study can generally push the average applicant's score upwards). The additional experience will help during interviews. Since she doesn't seem to care where she ends up, she should apply broadly. All of these factors will come together to increase her quality of outcome, reduce the amount of debt, and improve the long term quality of life. So yes, I fully believe that even two points is worthwhile. In fact, two points was my improvement after retaking, and I'm glad I did it.

Plus, there's no reason to assume that the improvement will only be two points.

For reference, Boulder's median is 161 and Denver's median is 156.




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