LMU vs. USC

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sguid42

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LMU vs. USC

Postby sguid42 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:34 pm

My ultimate goal is entertainment law (film/tv, transactional/contract), but wouldn't mind working in commercial/misc. contract for a few years after graduation (this is a given, honestly). If it comes down to choosing between Loyola with a sizable scholarship or paying sticker (all loans) for USC, what would be recommended for my best long term outcomes?

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guynourmin

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby guynourmin » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:49 pm

USC at sticker will almost always be a terrible decision.

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zot1

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby zot1 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:51 pm

Neither is great.

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby cantyoloforever » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:08 pm

Do you know anyone in entertainment law? I've read that it's a pretty insular field and tough to crack into.

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby sguid42 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:08 pm

guybourdin wrote:USC at sticker will almost always be a terrible decision.


Wouldn't USC give me better opportunities over all, making it easier to pay back loans? (I'm new here, just genuinely trying to get a handle on my options)

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby sguid42 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:12 pm

cantyoloforever wrote:Do you know anyone in entertainment law? I've read that it's a pretty insular field and tough to crack into.


Yeah, it's pretty intense. My partner is a filmmaker and I'm pretty good at networking. Unfortunately, we don't live in L.A. yet so the short answer as of right now is "no". My plan is to get into the entertainment program at whatever school I end up choosing and start networking immediately.

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guynourmin

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby guynourmin » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:23 pm

sguid42 wrote:
guybourdin wrote:USC at sticker will almost always be a terrible decision.


Wouldn't USC give me better opportunities over all, making it easier to pay back loans? (I'm new here, just genuinely trying to get a handle on my options)


Generally speaking, it is probably safe to say USC will give you better options overall, yes. Going to law school is far from a sure path to being successful (or even to becoming a lawyer!).

USC at sticker is going to be $35k/yr in loans, at least. That's a lot of money. I'm not going to pour through their NAPL report or talk to you much about the bimodal distribution of attorney salaries (but I'll give you those terms so you can look into them!), but I'll say you shouldn't even think about USC at sticker until you understand what they mean.

There is a lot of info on this forum, so search around and welcome!

sguid42

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby sguid42 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:34 pm

guybourdin wrote:
sguid42 wrote:
guybourdin wrote:USC at sticker will almost always be a terrible decision.


Wouldn't USC give me better opportunities over all, making it easier to pay back loans? (I'm new here, just genuinely trying to get a handle on my options)


Generally speaking, it is probably safe to say USC will give you better options overall, yes. Going to law school is far from a sure path to being successful (or even to becoming a lawyer!).

USC at sticker is going to be $35k/yr in loans, at least. That's a lot of money. I'm not going to pour through their NAPL report or talk to you much about the bimodal distribution of attorney salaries (but I'll give you those terms so you can look into them!), but I'll say you shouldn't even think about USC at sticker until you understand what they mean.

There is a lot of info on this forum, so search around and welcome!


Thank you! Most people on this site aren't so patient. As far as the bimodal salary thing (not to mention the unicorn status of entertainment lawyers and the sheer saturation in L.A.), that's exactly why I was considering Loyola. I figure that making real connections and working my ass off will be more helpful than just going to USC and paying back thousands of dollars every month for at least a decade.

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby cantyoloforever » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:23 pm

Think you could bump your LSAT score up so you wouldn't have to pay sticker at USC/UCLA?

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rwe13

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby rwe13 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:41 pm

As a current student at USC, I would only recommend that you attend with a sizable scholarship

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dannyswo

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby dannyswo » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:52 am

(There aren't any nuns at the law school; it's Loyola, not Loyola Marymount.)
Loyola was ranked 6th by Hollywood Reporter, USC is number 2.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-es ... ols-792255

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thexfactor

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby thexfactor » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:55 am

Honestly, I would probably not go, if I am a gambling man, I would go to USC. Even if you get a full ride to LMU, it is not really "free" it costs you 3 years of opportunity costs for a really low chance of a good outcome.

USC maybe top 50% will have a good chance for biglaw jobs. Loyola will be roughly top 10% maybe 15% to have a chance.

Law school tuition can be forgiven with IBR. Unfortunately getting ur first job, and your school sticks with you forever.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:55 am

dannyswo wrote:(There aren't any nuns at the law school; it's Loyola, not Loyola Marymount.)
Loyola was ranked 6th by Hollywood Reporter, USC is number 2.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-es ... ols-792255

Eh, I wouldn't rely on that at all. It appears to be listing numbers of the school's alums in the field? a set of firms? and if you look none of those numbers are very high; also there's a correlation/causation problem. (and things like having Harvard at #3 and saying "President Obama graduated from here in 1991" - what does that have to do with entertainment law??)

I don't know enough about entertainment law to comment meaningfully on the two schools - just my sense is that it is apparently very small, and it's often really just doing biglaw work except for entertainment/media companies. If the latter is true, USC will give you a better shot at the appropriate biglaw firms, but you may want to be sure you know what you mean by entertainment law - where do the people who do what you want to do work, and how did they get there? Can you informational interview with people in the field to find out what they recommend? What will you do if you can't get into entertainment law? Would you be okay with the other kinds of legal jobs that Loyola or USC could get you?

Unless you are "biglaw [or similarly pedigree-conscious work?] or I won't be happy with anything else and will leave the law and consider myself a failure" I tend toward "go to the school that's free" because I think people make much more of their careers for themselves than people here often realize (within limits), and I don't think it's a bad thing to miss out on three years of income if you're not amassing massive debt and it means you can pursue something you think will be a meaningful career, especially if you're not making a lot money right now anyway. But it's a question of personal risk-tolerance and goals and so on.

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zot1

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby zot1 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:22 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
dannyswo wrote:(There aren't any nuns at the law school; it's Loyola, not Loyola Marymount.)
Loyola was ranked 6th by Hollywood Reporter, USC is number 2.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-es ... ols-792255

Eh, I wouldn't rely on that at all. It appears to be listing numbers of the school's alums in the field? a set of firms? and if you look none of those numbers are very high; also there's a correlation/causation problem. (and things like having Harvard at #3 and saying "President Obama graduated from here in 1991" - what does that have to do with entertainment law??)

I don't know enough about entertainment law to comment meaningfully on the two schools - just my sense is that it is apparently very small, and it's often really just doing biglaw work except for entertainment/media companies. If the latter is true, USC will give you a better shot at the appropriate biglaw firms, but you may want to be sure you know what you mean by entertainment law - where do the people who do what you want to do work, and how did they get there? Can you informational interview with people in the field to find out what they recommend? What will you do if you can't get into entertainment law? Would you be okay with the other kinds of legal jobs that Loyola or USC could get you?

Unless you are "biglaw [or similarly pedigree-conscious work?] or I won't be happy with anything else and will leave the law and consider myself a failure" I tend toward "go to the school that's free" because I think people make much more of their careers for themselves than people here often realize (within limits), and I don't think it's a bad thing to miss out on three years of income if you're not amassing massive debt and it means you can pursue something you think will be a meaningful career, especially if you're not making a lot money right now anyway. But it's a question of personal risk-tolerance and goals and so on.


Both schools have entertainment "concentrations" and ties to firms doing entertainment work. But just like people who don't go to Lewis & Clark still find work in environmental law, people who go to UCLA, UCI, Boalt will likely find what they're looking for depending on class rank, networking, luck, etc.

Going to a school just because of this and getting into a lot of debt for it just isn't the way to go. But it's hard to deter kids from following their dreams.

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby acr » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:15 am

Let's look at the total cost of attendance of USC at sticker.

First, we'll take the yearly tuition ($59,576) and multiple by the average 3% increase you can expect per year. So we have ($59,576x1.03), which results in a tuition cost of $61,363 for 2L and ($61,363x1.03)=$63,204 for 3L. Whether this will actually happen or not, I don't know, but tuition will probably go up marginally at least.

So over three years of attendance at USC, you will have to finance $184,134 in tuition alone.

And then we have to factor in the reality that living in LA ain't exactly cheap.

According to the USC website, the average expected cost of attendance should be about $25,367, which, based on my experience with LA, is a conservative estimate. So we have to add $76,101 in cost of living over the course of three years to the tuition, which brings our whopping cost to a total...

HOLY SHIT $260,235!!!!

And that's just the principle on this amount. I ran it through a loan calculator under a standard ten year repayment plan, and it returned a TOTAL REPAYMENT OF $359,375 over the course of ten years. That's almost $100K in interest alone, assuming you get away with financing at a 6.8% interest rate. By the way, the monthly payment on that loan is $3,000, so you better hope your ass can land big law.

Okay, whew, so right now we're at $359,375 for the "privilege" of attending USC.

If you want to be an economist, and factor in opportunity cost, let's say that you could make an average of $50K per year in another job over the course of the next three years, which also reflects advancement opportunities as well.

If we add the opportunity cost over 3 years to the cumulative repayment, that gives us a total investment of $509,375 for a coin flip's (actually less - last USC numbers were like 34% got big law) chance of being able to land a job in which you will shovel shit to your lenders for the next ten to twenty years to get back to zero. I'm no financial advisor, but that doesn't exactly seem like a positive outcome to me.

LMU isn't worth it because it's an awful school and would not be worth three years of your time.

You need to not attend either of these schools, retake the LSAT, and go to USC on a full scholarship or another school that will help you accomplish your goals.

Sorry for the math, but I enjoy doing this every so often to remind myself of how big of a scam law school can be.

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zot1

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby zot1 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:40 am

Just like acr is assuming things, there are also other things that can be assumed. For example, OP could get firm jobs both summers, make 60K, and pay off loans. OP could also be living with family. OP could work as an RA or for a firm during the semesters and make extra income. OP might come out of school with a good job and pay off his loans in three years, causing the repayment amount to be much lower. OP could end up working for the government instead and end up paying only a fraction of his debt.

OP I'm not adding this to give you ideas that attending now is the way to go. Rather, to show you that the decision to attend law school lays on many factors and a shit ton of assumptions. It's really up to you how much you want to risk with your finances and career choices. Is there a chance you could go and do well? Sure. Is there a chance you could end up in the Vale for years? You bet.

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thexfactor

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby thexfactor » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:05 am

Yes the cost is extremely high for USC but you forgot that if you miss the boat you have IBR. What do you have if you miss the boat with Loyola (extremely likely since 90% don't get biglaw)?

You not only lose 3 years of time but you are also in almost as bad of a position as if you had gone to USC without the upside.

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby Boltsfan » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:26 pm

acr wrote: I ran it through a loan calculator under a standard ten year repayment plan, and it returned a TOTAL REPAYMENT OF $359,375 over the course of ten years. That's almost $100K in interest alone, assuming you get away with financing at a 6.8% interest rate. By the way, the monthly payment on that loan is $3,000, so you better hope your ass can land big law.


This is frankly mind blowing. This is a mortgage with no home. OP, this is LIFE DESTROYING DEBT. Do not do this to yourself.

I graduated from law school with no debt whatsoever and I cannot emphasize enough how liberating it is to know that I can do what I want after my clerkship without having to worry about servicing a second mortgage. You may not want to do big law or entertainment law by the time you are on the other side. But if you take on this mountain of debt, you are not going to have a choice.

Re-take, get a full ride somewhere good (USC for free would be fine imo but don't forget about cost of living), enjoy the rest of your life.

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zot1

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby zot1 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:49 pm

Boltsfan wrote:
acr wrote: I ran it through a loan calculator under a standard ten year repayment plan, and it returned a TOTAL REPAYMENT OF $359,375 over the course of ten years. That's almost $100K in interest alone, assuming you get away with financing at a 6.8% interest rate. By the way, the monthly payment on that loan is $3,000, so you better hope your ass can land big law.


This is frankly mind blowing. This is a mortgage with no home. OP, this is LIFE DESTROYING DEBT. Do not do this to yourself.

I graduated from law school with no debt whatsoever and I cannot emphasize enough how liberating it is to know that I can do what I want after my clerkship without having to worry about servicing a second mortgage. You may not want to do big law or entertainment law by the time you are on the other side. But if you take on this mountain of debt, you are not going to have a choice.

Re-take, get a full ride somewhere good (USC for free would be fine imo but don't forget about cost of living), enjoy the rest of your life.


Again, I have to play devil's advocate. A mortgage does not quite generate income for you the way a law degree could. So they're not quite the same, specially when you consider your return rate on each investment.

My degree bought me my house, but my house could not really have bought me my degree (I wasn't in a position to buy a house before I went to law school).

This is not to say I think people should go to law school. Only those who have good reasons should go. And even those people should still probably think about it twice before going.

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby Boltsfan » Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:15 pm

A home has definite, measurable value. What is the value of a law degree to the OP? Could it be more than a home of comparable cost? Yes, potentially. Could it be significantly less? Yes, potentially. Could it be completely valueless? Yes, potentially.

Another important distinction is that, if the housing market crashes and you end up upside down on your mortgage, you can BK and discharge that debt. If you end up unemployed and upside down on your law degree, the $350k you owe on your piece of paper from USC is non-dischargable and will follow you to the grave.

It's also important to remember that, when you buy a house, you are going to pay roughly the value of that home at the time of purchase. When you purchase a law degree, you can either pay sticker (which is INSANE), nothing at all except cost of living (maybe even less with a stipend), or anything in between. What the OP should strongly consider is that, by doing everything in his/her power to be at the lower end of the law degree cost spectrum, he/she mitigates the risk of the law degree falling on the lower end of the law degree value spectrum.

tl;dr: Do not pay sticker for USC. It is a terrible life decision that might work out, but if it goes bad, will go really bad.

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby trebekismyhero » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:11 pm

zot1 wrote:
Boltsfan wrote:
acr wrote: I ran it through a loan calculator under a standard ten year repayment plan, and it returned a TOTAL REPAYMENT OF $359,375 over the course of ten years. That's almost $100K in interest alone, assuming you get away with financing at a 6.8% interest rate. By the way, the monthly payment on that loan is $3,000, so you better hope your ass can land big law.


This is frankly mind blowing. This is a mortgage with no home. OP, this is LIFE DESTROYING DEBT. Do not do this to yourself.

I graduated from law school with no debt whatsoever and I cannot emphasize enough how liberating it is to know that I can do what I want after my clerkship without having to worry about servicing a second mortgage. You may not want to do big law or entertainment law by the time you are on the other side. But if you take on this mountain of debt, you are not going to have a choice.

Re-take, get a full ride somewhere good (USC for free would be fine imo but don't forget about cost of living), enjoy the rest of your life.


Again, I have to play devil's advocate. A mortgage does not quite generate income for you the way a law degree could. So they're not quite the same, specially when you consider your return rate on each investment.

My degree bought me my house, but my house could not really have bought me my degree (I wasn't in a position to buy a house before I went to law school).

This is not to say I think people should go to law school. Only those who have good reasons should go. And even those people should still probably think about it twice before going.


Don't disagree with what you are saying about the value of a degree, but paying sticker at USC is just insane. There are only a handful of schools that are worth paying sticker for and USC is not one of them.

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zot1

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby zot1 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:27 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:
zot1 wrote:
Boltsfan wrote:
acr wrote: I ran it through a loan calculator under a standard ten year repayment plan, and it returned a TOTAL REPAYMENT OF $359,375 over the course of ten years. That's almost $100K in interest alone, assuming you get away with financing at a 6.8% interest rate. By the way, the monthly payment on that loan is $3,000, so you better hope your ass can land big law.


This is frankly mind blowing. This is a mortgage with no home. OP, this is LIFE DESTROYING DEBT. Do not do this to yourself.

I graduated from law school with no debt whatsoever and I cannot emphasize enough how liberating it is to know that I can do what I want after my clerkship without having to worry about servicing a second mortgage. You may not want to do big law or entertainment law by the time you are on the other side. But if you take on this mountain of debt, you are not going to have a choice.

Re-take, get a full ride somewhere good (USC for free would be fine imo but don't forget about cost of living), enjoy the rest of your life.


Again, I have to play devil's advocate. A mortgage does not quite generate income for you the way a law degree could. So they're not quite the same, specially when you consider your return rate on each investment.

My degree bought me my house, but my house could not really have bought me my degree (I wasn't in a position to buy a house before I went to law school).

This is not to say I think people should go to law school. Only those who have good reasons should go. And even those people should still probably think about it twice before going.


Don't disagree with what you are saying about the value of a degree, but paying sticker at USC is just insane. There are only a handful of schools that are worth paying sticker for and USC is not one of them.


I'm not a USC fan, so I'd be cool with no one ever going there again.

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby Boltsfan » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:33 pm

zot1 wrote:
I'm not a USC fan, so I'd be cool with no one ever going there again.


If you want to work in LA and you get in for free/close to free I think it's a pretty solid choice. I'd probably prefer UCLA, but I'd still feel a heck of a lot better about my chances of a positive career outcome going to USC than the other regional schools in the area of Loyola, Pepperdine, or UC Irvine.

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby acr » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:39 pm

Boltsfan wrote:
zot1 wrote:
I'm not a USC fan, so I'd be cool with no one ever going there again.


If you want to work in LA and you get in for free/close to free I think it's a pretty solid choice. I'd probably prefer UCLA, but I'd still feel a heck of a lot better about my chances of a positive career outcome going to USC than the other regional schools in the area of Loyola, Pepperdine, or UC Irvine.


UC Irvine is actually decent (on a full scholarship of course). UCLA is still the top dog, with USC a close second, but Irvine and the likes of Pepperdine/Loyola are in different tiers.

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zot1

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Re: LMU vs. USC

Postby zot1 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:49 pm

acr wrote:
Boltsfan wrote:
zot1 wrote:
I'm not a USC fan, so I'd be cool with no one ever going there again.


If you want to work in LA and you get in for free/close to free I think it's a pretty solid choice. I'd probably prefer UCLA, but I'd still feel a heck of a lot better about my chances of a positive career outcome going to USC than the other regional schools in the area of Loyola, Pepperdine, or UC Irvine.


UC Irvine is actually decent (on a full scholarship of course). UCLA is still the top dog, with USC a close second, but Irvine and the likes of Pepperdine/Loyola are in different tiers.


Lol. UCI places more students in LA (and everywhere else) than you seem to realize.



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