Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

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clovis

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby clovis » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:57 pm

fliptrip wrote:Well, when folks talk about what you can and can't do, again that's really more subjective. What's closer to objective is that if you borrow massive sums and think you'll LRAP it away, changing your mind could be very, very, very expensive and involve compromises you will not enjoy making.

You can certainly get six years in on LRAP at H and decide to go into some kind of non-LRAP job. But, you're going to pay dearly for the opportunity. Here's some implications:

1. The most basic one...you're going from paying nothing to paying something.
2. You could end up changing your amortization to lower your monthly, but you'll pay thousands of dollars in interest
3. Every dime you spend on student loans is a dime that doesn't go to savings, college funds, private school tuition, an engagement ring for your sweetheart who might decide to marry you even though she might be high-earning, mortgage payments, mortgage downpayments, vacations, coaches, piano lessons, care for your elderly parents, Ferragamo shoes, Hermes ties, Hublot Watches, dinner at Bobby Van's in New York, or any other good/activity that's high on Flip's list of living the high life.


But isn't it the case that someone who's chosen to work six years in PI is not prioritizing money? It's still better financially to work BigLaw and pay the debt yourself than to take a low-paying job on LRAP, right?

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby RZ5646 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:04 pm

clovis wrote:0L, but what I get confused by is that some people say they are chained to BigLaw jobs by debt, and then other people say they are chained to certain PI jobs because they can't afford to lose LRAP coverage. In either case, they seem to acknowledge that both BigLaw salaries and LRAPs are sufficient to pay back debt. What I'm wondering is, what are these other jobs that people seem to be worried about that are neither LRAP-eligible nor high paying enough to manage debt?


Also wondering about this. Unless I'm missing something, it seems like LIPP at least covers a wide variety of jobs; it really is a "low income protection plan." There's probably an anti-Goldilocks zone at the upper end of eligible salaries and lower end of ineligible salaries where you're paying more than you'd like, but you'll still be able get your loans paid.

The HYS LRAPs seem a lot better than those offered by other schools, so I wonder how many of these general LRAP criticisms apply to them.

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:40 pm

RZ5646 wrote:
clovis wrote:0L, but what I get confused by is that some people say they are chained to BigLaw jobs by debt, and then other people say they are chained to certain PI jobs because they can't afford to lose LRAP coverage. In either case, they seem to acknowledge that both BigLaw salaries and LRAPs are sufficient to pay back debt. What I'm wondering is, what are these other jobs that people seem to be worried about that are neither LRAP-eligible nor high paying enough to manage debt?


Also wondering about this. Unless I'm missing something, it seems like LIPP at least covers a wide variety of jobs; it really is a "low income protection plan." There's probably an anti-Goldilocks zone at the upper end of eligible salaries and lower end of ineligible salaries where you're paying more than you'd like, but you'll still be able get your loans paid.

The HYS LRAPs seem a lot better than those offered by other schools, so I wonder how many of these general LRAP criticisms apply to them.

To clovis' question, the vast majority of legal jobs in America have neither biglaw-level salaries or LRAP eligibility. Any private practice job in house or in a small to midsize firm (including all the solo lawyers out there) generally fall in this category.

It's possible the HYS LRAPs are pretty foolproof, but what happens if you end up making 100k and have a spouse making even more? How well do the plans cover you at that point?

I'd also add that my original point in all of this is that I work with a lot of people who went to Harvard and Stanford. Many people from HYS end up working in biglaw. Not saying this applies to anyone in this thread, but if you're on the fence about career plans there's a very good chance you'll take the path of least resistance, which is biglaw.

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby fliptrip » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:47 pm

clovis wrote:
fliptrip wrote:Well, when folks talk about what you can and can't do, again that's really more subjective. What's closer to objective is that if you borrow massive sums and think you'll LRAP it away, changing your mind could be very, very, very expensive and involve compromises you will not enjoy making.

You can certainly get six years in on LRAP at H and decide to go into some kind of non-LRAP job. But, you're going to pay dearly for the opportunity. Here's some implications:

1. The most basic one...you're going from paying nothing to paying something.
2. You could end up changing your amortization to lower your monthly, but you'll pay thousands of dollars in interest
3. Every dime you spend on student loans is a dime that doesn't go to savings, college funds, private school tuition, an engagement ring for your sweetheart who might decide to marry you even though she might be high-earning, mortgage payments, mortgage downpayments, vacations, coaches, piano lessons, care for your elderly parents, Ferragamo shoes, Hermes ties, Hublot Watches, dinner at Bobby Van's in New York, or any other good/activity that's high on Flip's list of living the high life.


But isn't it the case that someone who's chosen to work six years in PI is not prioritizing money? It's still better financially to work BigLaw and pay the debt yourself than to take a low-paying job on LRAP, right?


I haven't done the numbers but if your goal is to build wealth above all else there's no way you'd do anything other than take Columbia/NYU for free. At the point of 10 years out + 1 day you will almost certainly be ahead in your wealth building compared to someone who fully LRAPed.

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby RZ5646 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:14 pm

Scholarship --> biglaw is the best option from a purely financial standpoint. But the people who are planning to use LRAP aren't concerned with wealth-building, so the real question is whether LRAPing is merely financially suboptimal or actually life-ruining.

It would be great to hear from some people who have actually done HYS -> PI / LRAP, but there aren't many of those people around.

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby abl » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:07 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:The people who argue against taking out loans make good points, but I wonder if "scholarship > HYS" has become the conventional wisdom mostly because there are so few HYS PI grads here and so many other T14 biglawyers.

Or maybe it's because while 95% of HYS students go in dreaming of PI we all work with the large portion of HYS grads who end up not going that route. If you end up working 10 years in low paying PI (and, depending on the LRAP, not getting married during that time) then you're right and it's all funny money. Just be careful if you might deviate from that path even a little.


This, except its not that you "might" deviate--you almost certainly will. Also remember that if you want to go the LRAP route, in some cases you're essentially ruling out having a high earning spouse. Practically speaking this means if you fall in love with one of your classmates (who in almost all cases will be making a firm salary), your finances have a direct conflict with your personal life.


I really think surprisingly few commuted PI people at HYS actually deviate. There's a huge difference in vaguely expressing some interest in PI as an applicant or incoming 0L and actually knowing you're going to do PI.

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby kloseframe » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:26 pm

RZ5646 wrote:Scholarship --> biglaw is the best option from a purely financial standpoint. But the people who are planning to use LRAP aren't concerned with wealth-building, so the real question is whether LRAPing is merely financially suboptimal or actually life-ruining.

It would be great to hear from some people who have actually done HYS -> PI / LRAP, but there aren't many of those people around.



I am an HYS grad, living on LRAP. What do you want to know?

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby clovis » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:30 pm

kloseframe wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:Scholarship --> biglaw is the best option from a purely financial standpoint. But the people who are planning to use LRAP aren't concerned with wealth-building, so the real question is whether LRAPing is merely financially suboptimal or actually life-ruining.

It would be great to hear from some people who have actually done HYS -> PI / LRAP, but there aren't many of those people around.



I am an HYS grad, living on LRAP. What do you want to know?


How financially straitened do you feel?

Are you happy with your job? Do you feel trapped in any way and prevented from doing another job that you would rather do? Do you feel any options are closed to you that would have been open had you taken a Hamilton, for example?

abl

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby abl » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:33 pm

RZ5646 wrote:Scholarship --> biglaw is the best option from a purely financial standpoint. But the people who are planning to use LRAP aren't concerned with wealth-building, so the real question is whether LRAPing is merely financially suboptimal or actually life-ruining.

It would be great to hear from some people who have actually done HYS -> PI / LRAP, but there aren't many of those people around.


I did HYS -> PI / LRAP. Like the earlier poster on this thread who did it, I found my school's loan repayment system to be more than workable. From my experience, it allowed me a pretty nice lifestyle, and was flexible in the right ways when my family situation changed. And when I ultimately went out of loan assistance, I felt like the transition point was reasonable and reflective of my financial abilities to make things work.

In other words, I am sure there are rare circumstances in which HYS's loan assistance fails to sufficiently cover graduates who need coverage. But in my experience, and judging from the experience of my PI classmates (many of whom I'm still close with), these situations seem to be exceedingly rare. I don't know of anybody who graduated from my school within a couple years of me who's run into problems caused by my school's loan assistance program coverage. I do think these schools' programs are well designed for the circumstances that most grads actually find themselves in.

And I know there's a lot of talk on these forums about how LRAPs "chain" grads to certain careers or limit grads' abilities to pursue their ideal paths. I haven't seen anything like this, in reality. it certainly wasn't my experience. (And I do know of a number of grads on loan assistance and without wealthy families who have made the sorts of weird or wonky or risky career decisions that folks on this board think that LRAPs make not possible.)

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby RZ5646 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:43 pm

kloseframe wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:Scholarship --> biglaw is the best option from a purely financial standpoint. But the people who are planning to use LRAP aren't concerned with wealth-building, so the real question is whether LRAPing is merely financially suboptimal or actually life-ruining.

It would be great to hear from some people who have actually done HYS -> PI / LRAP, but there aren't many of those people around.



I am an HYS grad, living on LRAP. What do you want to know?


I don't mean to hijack this thread, so I can PM you if you want, but right away I'd like to ask a few things:

1. Why did you choose to attend HYS? Did you have generous competing offers at other schools?

2. Would you choose that path again if you could do it over again?

3. How much did your school help you in achieving your goals? Could you have done the same thing as easily if you had gone to a lower-ranked / cheaper school?

4. How difficult is it to live on your school's LRAP? (And, if you don't mind linking yourself to a school, can you say which program it is?)

5. Do you think that most of the people who are initially interested in PI but then do biglaw switch because they are forced to (i.e., can't get the sort of job they want), or do you think they just lose interest, decide that a high income is more valuable, etc.?

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby abl » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:48 pm

One other note:

The risk of being tied to one career is pretty different in the context of PI employment than it is in biglaw. Most people hate biglaw. The hours are miserable, the work is unrewarding, and it overall tends to be pretty unsatisfying. There's a real concern about being stuck in a career that you don't believe in, care about, or particularly enjoy with biglaw.

That's not really the case for most PI folks. If you go into PI at HYS, it's probably because you care deeply about a particular issue. If you're going to law school to help asylum seekers, and then get a job helping asylum seekers, you're much less likely going to want to switch to something dramatically different after a couple of years. Unlike with biglaw, you're doing what you believe in. Moreover, PI work tends to be much more substantive and much more results-driven. You're working to make a difference, and not for the hours, so you're far less likely to get stuck with the sort of BS assignments that make biglaw so soul-sucking. Don't get me wrong: a lot of PI people don't ultimately love their jobs. But it's usually for office-specific reasons. Maybe the DA you're working with sucks, or your NGO is disorganized. As a consequence, the vast majority of PI folks I've seen switch jobs switch to other closely related PI positions.

All of this is to say that to the extent there is a chaining effect of loan assistance programs -- and in my experience, there really isn't -- it's not an equivalent concern to whatever chaining effect comes with biglaw.

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby kloseframe » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:55 pm

clovis wrote:
kloseframe wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:Scholarship --> biglaw is the best option from a purely financial standpoint. But the people who are planning to use LRAP aren't concerned with wealth-building, so the real question is whether LRAPing is merely financially suboptimal or actually life-ruining.

It would be great to hear from some people who have actually done HYS -> PI / LRAP, but there aren't many of those people around.



I am an HYS grad, living on LRAP. What do you want to know?


How financially straitened do you feel?

Are you happy with your job? Do you feel trapped in any way and prevented from doing another job that you would rather do? Do you feel any options are closed to you that would have been open had you taken a Hamilton, for example?



I feel fine, financially. I make enough to have some savings and live very comfortably (travel, eating at fancy restaurants from time to time, paying for part of my wedding). It depends what you spend your money on. I don't have kids, I don't own my house, and I live in a more affordable part of NYC so that might affect things a bit.

I love my job, but I don't feel stuck there. LRAP is definitely a consideration when I am negotiating salaries, but its generally not a consideration when I am looking at potential new jobs. Some of that is probably driven by the fact that I'd prefer to stay in the non-profit sector. I actually paid my debt out of pocket while I was clerking (stupid, I see now), and I was still mostly comfortable despite making about $65K and paying most of it to debt.

I think there are a few blindspots that make life more burdensome - if I made $100K, for example. I don't feel like options are closed to me as a result of that (and I know at SLS at least its something they are looking into to try to fix), but that is a pretty specific problem.

This isn't to say that taking on debt is the right decision, everyone's situation is different, but I certainly don't regret it and I don't feel locked in as a result of it.

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby kloseframe » Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:00 pm

abl wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:Scholarship --> biglaw is the best option from a purely financial standpoint. But the people who are planning to use LRAP aren't concerned with wealth-building, so the real question is whether LRAPing is merely financially suboptimal or actually life-ruining.

It would be great to hear from some people who have actually done HYS -> PI / LRAP, but there aren't many of those people around.


I did HYS -> PI / LRAP. Like the earlier poster on this thread who did it, I found my school's loan repayment system to be more than workable. From my experience, it allowed me a pretty nice lifestyle, and was flexible in the right ways when my family situation changed. And when I ultimately went out of loan assistance, I felt like the transition point was reasonable and reflective of my financial abilities to make things work.

In other words, I am sure there are rare circumstances in which HYS's loan assistance fails to sufficiently cover graduates who need coverage. But in my experience, and judging from the experience of my PI classmates (many of whom I'm still close with), these situations seem to be exceedingly rare. I don't know of anybody who graduated from my school within a couple years of me who's run into problems caused by my school's loan assistance program coverage. I do think these schools' programs are well designed for the circumstances that most grads actually find themselves in.

And I know there's a lot of talk on these forums about how LRAPs "chain" grads to certain careers or limit grads' abilities to pursue their ideal paths. I haven't seen anything like this, in reality. it certainly wasn't my experience. (And I do know of a number of grads on loan assistance and without wealthy families who have made the sorts of weird or wonky or risky career decisions that folks on this board think that LRAPs make not possible.)



Everything that abl says here mirrors my experience and that of my friends.

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby clovis » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:29 pm

kloseframe wrote:
clovis wrote:
kloseframe wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:Scholarship --> biglaw is the best option from a purely financial standpoint. But the people who are planning to use LRAP aren't concerned with wealth-building, so the real question is whether LRAPing is merely financially suboptimal or actually life-ruining.

It would be great to hear from some people who have actually done HYS -> PI / LRAP, but there aren't many of those people around.



I am an HYS grad, living on LRAP. What do you want to know?


How financially straitened do you feel?

Are you happy with your job? Do you feel trapped in any way and prevented from doing another job that you would rather do? Do you feel any options are closed to you that would have been open had you taken a Hamilton, for example?



I feel fine, financially. I make enough to have some savings and live very comfortably (travel, eating at fancy restaurants from time to time, paying for part of my wedding). It depends what you spend your money on. I don't have kids, I don't own my house, and I live in a more affordable part of NYC so that might affect things a bit.

I love my job, but I don't feel stuck there. LRAP is definitely a consideration when I am negotiating salaries, but its generally not a consideration when I am looking at potential new jobs. Some of that is probably driven by the fact that I'd prefer to stay in the non-profit sector. I actually paid my debt out of pocket while I was clerking (stupid, I see now), and I was still mostly comfortable despite making about $65K and paying most of it to debt.

I think there are a few blindspots that make life more burdensome - if I made $100K, for example. I don't feel like options are closed to me as a result of that (and I know at SLS at least its something they are looking into to try to fix), but that is a pretty specific problem.

This isn't to say that taking on debt is the right decision, everyone's situation is different, but I certainly don't regret it and I don't feel locked in as a result of it.


Thanks for that! One question about clerking—what is it you wish you had done instead of paying the debt during that time?

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby Clearly » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:36 pm

clovis wrote:
kloseframe wrote:
clovis wrote:
kloseframe wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:Scholarship --> biglaw is the best option from a purely financial standpoint. But the people who are planning to use LRAP aren't concerned with wealth-building, so the real question is whether LRAPing is merely financially suboptimal or actually life-ruining.

It would be great to hear from some people who have actually done HYS -> PI / LRAP, but there aren't many of those people around.



I am an HYS grad, living on LRAP. What do you want to know?


How financially straitened do you feel?

Are you happy with your job? Do you feel trapped in any way and prevented from doing another job that you would rather do? Do you feel any options are closed to you that would have been open had you taken a Hamilton, for example?



I feel fine, financially. I make enough to have some savings and live very comfortably (travel, eating at fancy restaurants from time to time, paying for part of my wedding). It depends what you spend your money on. I don't have kids, I don't own my house, and I live in a more affordable part of NYC so that might affect things a bit.

I love my job, but I don't feel stuck there. LRAP is definitely a consideration when I am negotiating salaries, but its generally not a consideration when I am looking at potential new jobs. Some of that is probably driven by the fact that I'd prefer to stay in the non-profit sector. I actually paid my debt out of pocket while I was clerking (stupid, I see now), and I was still mostly comfortable despite making about $65K and paying most of it to debt.

I think there are a few blindspots that make life more burdensome - if I made $100K, for example. I don't feel like options are closed to me as a result of that (and I know at SLS at least its something they are looking into to try to fix), but that is a pretty specific problem.

This isn't to say that taking on debt is the right decision, everyone's situation is different, but I certainly don't regret it and I don't feel locked in as a result of it.


Thanks for that! One question about clerking—what is it you wish you had done instead of paying the debt during that time?

I'm not him, but the answer is going to be "not paying the debt during that time" if it's getting forgiven/covered by HYS it was silly to spend a huge chunk of his income on loans, only to have HYS take over anyway.

kloseframe

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby kloseframe » Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:46 am

Clearly wrote:
clovis wrote:
kloseframe wrote:
clovis wrote:
kloseframe wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:Scholarship --> biglaw is the best option from a purely financial standpoint. But the people who are planning to use LRAP aren't concerned with wealth-building, so the real question is whether LRAPing is merely financially suboptimal or actually life-ruining.

It would be great to hear from some people who have actually done HYS -> PI / LRAP, but there aren't many of those people around.



I am an HYS grad, living on LRAP. What do you want to know?


How financially straitened do you feel?

Are you happy with your job? Do you feel trapped in any way and prevented from doing another job that you would rather do? Do you feel any options are closed to you that would have been open had you taken a Hamilton, for example?



I feel fine, financially. I make enough to have some savings and live very comfortably (travel, eating at fancy restaurants from time to time, paying for part of my wedding). It depends what you spend your money on. I don't have kids, I don't own my house, and I live in a more affordable part of NYC so that might affect things a bit.

I love my job, but I don't feel stuck there. LRAP is definitely a consideration when I am negotiating salaries, but its generally not a consideration when I am looking at potential new jobs. Some of that is probably driven by the fact that I'd prefer to stay in the non-profit sector. I actually paid my debt out of pocket while I was clerking (stupid, I see now), and I was still mostly comfortable despite making about $65K and paying most of it to debt.

I think there are a few blindspots that make life more burdensome - if I made $100K, for example. I don't feel like options are closed to me as a result of that (and I know at SLS at least its something they are looking into to try to fix), but that is a pretty specific problem.

This isn't to say that taking on debt is the right decision, everyone's situation is different, but I certainly don't regret it and I don't feel locked in as a result of it.


Thanks for that! One question about clerking—what is it you wish you had done instead of paying the debt during that time?

I'm not him, but the answer is going to be "not paying the debt during that time" if it's getting forgiven/covered by HYS it was silly to spend a huge chunk of his income on loans, only to have HYS take over anyway.


Yeah. That's more or less right. The complication is that my alma mater will allow you enroll in LRAP if you are clerking, but makes you pay it back if you go to a firm afterwards. It makes sense since the spirit of LRAP is to encourage and subsidize public sector employment and clerking is more self-serving than humanity-serving. So, since I didn't have a PI job lined up when I started clerking, I was just worried about having to pay double in year two. Not a huge deal, but could have been better.

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Re: Stanford v Harvard v Columbia $$$ v NYU ($$$)

Postby clovis » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:21 am

kloseframe wrote:
Clearly wrote:
clovis wrote:
kloseframe wrote:
clovis wrote:
kloseframe wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:Scholarship --> biglaw is the best option from a purely financial standpoint. But the people who are planning to use LRAP aren't concerned with wealth-building, so the real question is whether LRAPing is merely financially suboptimal or actually life-ruining.

It would be great to hear from some people who have actually done HYS -> PI / LRAP, but there aren't many of those people around.



I am an HYS grad, living on LRAP. What do you want to know?


How financially straitened do you feel?

Are you happy with your job? Do you feel trapped in any way and prevented from doing another job that you would rather do? Do you feel any options are closed to you that would have been open had you taken a Hamilton, for example?



I feel fine, financially. I make enough to have some savings and live very comfortably (travel, eating at fancy restaurants from time to time, paying for part of my wedding). It depends what you spend your money on. I don't have kids, I don't own my house, and I live in a more affordable part of NYC so that might affect things a bit.

I love my job, but I don't feel stuck there. LRAP is definitely a consideration when I am negotiating salaries, but its generally not a consideration when I am looking at potential new jobs. Some of that is probably driven by the fact that I'd prefer to stay in the non-profit sector. I actually paid my debt out of pocket while I was clerking (stupid, I see now), and I was still mostly comfortable despite making about $65K and paying most of it to debt.

I think there are a few blindspots that make life more burdensome - if I made $100K, for example. I don't feel like options are closed to me as a result of that (and I know at SLS at least its something they are looking into to try to fix), but that is a pretty specific problem.

This isn't to say that taking on debt is the right decision, everyone's situation is different, but I certainly don't regret it and I don't feel locked in as a result of it.


Thanks for that! One question about clerking—what is it you wish you had done instead of paying the debt during that time?

I'm not him, but the answer is going to be "not paying the debt during that time" if it's getting forgiven/covered by HYS it was silly to spend a huge chunk of his income on loans, only to have HYS take over anyway.


Yeah. That's more or less right. The complication is that my alma mater will allow you enroll in LRAP if you are clerking, but makes you pay it back if you go to a firm afterwards. It makes sense since the spirit of LRAP is to encourage and subsidize public sector employment and clerking is more self-serving than humanity-serving. So, since I didn't have a PI job lined up when I started clerking, I was just worried about having to pay double in year two. Not a huge deal, but could have been better.


Thanks for the explanation!



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